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Mobile Wallets: Google Got There First, But Apple’s Users Want Them More

Google announced it’s NFC-powered Google Wallet for Android smartphones last month and started a limited beta test in a few select cities, but new data from Retrevo shows that about 80% of all potential cell phone buyers either don’t know what a mobile wallet is (26%) or simply aren’t interested in them (53%). When it comes to those who are actually interested in NFC compatibility on their phones, though, current iPhone owners are significantly more interested in getting access to this technology (40%) than current Android users (24%). While Google was first to market with its product, it may not have much of an early mover advantage with its users.

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As I noted when Google first announced its wallet in May, NFC-based mobile payment systems aren’t new and have been tested for years now. They have never been successful, though. I suspect that this is at least partly due to the fact that there is nothing especially inconvenient about using credit or debit cards today for most consumers. On Retrevo’s study, men were generally more likely to want to use mobile wallets and younger users (18-35) were far more likely to be interested in the technology than those over 50.

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Retrevo’s data also shows that quote a few potential mobile wallet customers are worried about security. While 61% of iPhone users would trust Apple to keep their data secure, neither Google nor the credit card companies and mobile carriers are trusted by more than 50% of potential users.

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