The number of businesses and shoppers using their smartphones to pay is rising more rapidly.
According to the results of a recent data analysis by Gartner, there are more consumers and businesses, alike, that are starting to try out mobile payments and wallets app, to test the technology for themselves.
That said, there are also a growing number of offerings showing up in the mobile wallet app market.
Among those making the most noise is Apple Pay, which was launched by Apple in October 2014. That said, it is far from alone in the mobile payments sphere, as Android Pay has also been released by Google. Samsung Pay was launched by Samsung Electronics Co to throw its hat into the ring. Moreover, there are quite a few that are currently in development. Among the most notable is CurrentC, which is the mobile wallet being created by a consortium of restaurants and major retailers.
That said, individual retailers are also starting to come up with their own mobile payments offerings.
Over the holiday season, Walmart announced that it was developing a mobile wallet service that would allow its shoppers to pay for their purchases at the store using their smartphones, charging the purchase to any major credit card or to one of the brand’s gift cards. This feature is going to be worked into the existing mobile app from the company.
Similarly, Target also announced that it would be adding a mobile wallet feature to its mobile application. That announcement caused quite a bit of confusion, as Target is one of the businesses in the aforementioned consortium, and the retailer was certain to make it clear that it had no intentions for exiting that group.
Until now, mobile wallets haven’t really been all that popular among consumers, but they are reaching the point in which they are beginning to pick up a bit of steam. Gartner research director, Penny Gillespie explained that “When you ask consumers about mobile payments, they pretty much tell you they’re not interested — not everyone, but the majority of buyers.” She also went on to say that one of the main reasons is that consumers are essentially satisfied with their current payment options, including credit and debit cards, checks and cash.