Industry analysts had predicted that Apple would kick smartphone wallets into gear but that might not be it.
When Apple Pay was launched, many analysts believed this would be the start of powerful mobile payments trends. They felt that Apple was the key to the mainstream adoption of mobile wallets. That said, that wallet app has now been available for about two years and adoption has been slower than anticipated.
Some analysts are now saying that the start of the widespread use of mobile payments won’t happen for some time.
A couple of years ago, mobile payments trends were expected to become the next big thing. By now, it would be commonplace to see shoppers using their smartphones in-store to pay for groceries, clothing and other purchases. It would be routine to use a mobile device instead of a credit card or debit card at a checkout counter.
However, mobile wallets have not taken off as expected. This has been the case both among mobile device users and among retailers. Now Fitch Ratings financial industry group director Michael Taino is predicting that the rate of adoption for mobile payments won’t just be slightly slower than expected. It will be much slower.
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Taiano predicts that mobile payments trends won’t truly take off for multiple decades.
In an interview with Fortune magazine, Taiano was quoted as saying that “This could be a multi-decade change that occurs.” He said that the adoption by consumers and retailers may be similar to the experience seen in the growth of e-commerce. He pointed out that as large as e-commerce now is and as much as it has grown over 20 years, it still represents only 8 percent of retail spending in the United States.
Taiano recently published a report based on his conclusions and the evidence that has led him to make them. He underscored a number of barriers that have stood in the way of mainstream mobile wallet adoption.
One hurdle in the way of mobile payments trends progress has been the lack of incentive to consumers. Shoppers find credit and debit card use to be simple, familiar and accepted in the majority of places they shop. Therefore, at the moment they don’t have much motivation to change those easy and convenient habits.