EMMAs

Is it a Phone? No, its a Wallet

David Murphy

As many as 25 million wireless phone subscribers in North America could be using their mobile phones as mobile wallets by 2011, according to a report from market research firm In-Stat.
The report, Mobile Wallet: More than M-Commerce says that attitudes of US users towards mobile wallets are at best, lukewarm, with roughly one-third of respondents interested, one-third indifferent, and one-third uninterested. The most frequently mentioned barrier to the mobile wallet is added fees for its use (cited by 72% of respondents), followed by security concerns about loss of the phone and privacy. Survey data found that mobile wallet was most appealing to technology innovators and early adopters, as well as subscribers who already rely heavily on their wireless phones.
The mobile wallet is a versatile application that includes elements of mobile transactions, as well as other items one may find in a wallet, such as membership cards, loyalty cards, and other forms of identification. In-Stat believes that the market can grow only by adopting a technology that offers the most versatility by providing both transaction capability and content discovery. There are several technologies that could enable mobile wallet operations of handsets, including Near Field Communications (NFC), Radio Frequency (RFID), bar codes, and visual recognition. Standardisation efforts around NFC may give that system the edge, the company says.
The research addresses the North America market, and includes forecasts for mobile wallet users in North America from 2005-2010. The report was developed through the results of an online survey of In-Stat's Technology Adoption Panel (TAP) and through interviews with key players in the sector, including credit card company JCB, semiconductor vendor Philips, credit card terminal company ViVOtech, and traditional wireless companies such as Nokia and Cingular Wireless.
The report costs $3,495 (2,000).
For more information about the report, email: tina.sheltra@reedbusiness.com

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