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Americans trust banks for mobile wallet

Despite the hype that has accompanied the launch of Apple Pay, less than a third of Americans would consider obtaining a mobile wallet app from Apple, while more than two thirds would take a bank’s offering, according to a survey from Phoenix Marketing International.

Among the 4200 US households polled in the wake of Apple Pay’s launch, banks are still

A Turkcell mobile wallet image

Americans trust banks for mobile wallets

the most trusted provider when it comes to mobile wallets, ahead of PayPal. Apple has seen a significant jump in the percentage of respondents who would turn to it for a mobile wallet app but still lags behind mobile network operators and Amazon – reports Finextra.

However, the firm scored huge publicity for its new product and 44% of those smartphone owners quizzed by Phoenix are either very or somewhat positive about it, with Android users nearly as likely to be interested as iPhone owners.

The biggest hurdle to mobile payments takeup continues to be security, with 65% of survey respondents citing hackers gaining access to their personal information as their biggest concern. Speaking at the BAI Retail Delivery conference this week, Leon Majors from Phoenix said that this has been Apple’s initial focus. The firm is promoting its use of biometrics and tokenisation and hoping that this emphasis on security and privacy will outweigh its decision to ignore things such as merchant rewards.

The survey results appear to back up Apple’s calculation. Just 19% of respondents say that the benefits of location services outweigh privacy concerns and 26% say they like personalised offers while shopping. In contrast, half are willing to use enhanced security features.

Meanwhile, on the question of what cards people want to link to Apple Pay, 81% would like to use their current ‘top of wallet’ plastic but three quarters want to add at least one more. Most of those questioned also want to be able to link debit or prepaid cards.

A significant challenge facing Apple and its rivals is getting people who install payment apps to actually use them. A quarter of respondents have a purchase app on their handsets, but just 13% have made a payment. Even among millenials, fewer than half of the 43% with purchase apps ever take advantage.

With the mobile wallet market still in its infancy, Majors argues that Apple has simply taken the opening shot in a five year battle. Despite the hype, the company has restricted itself to a limited proposition of secure payments, rather than a holistic commerce service.

It is also targeting a small market – iPhone owners and the retailers at which these people shop. Of 12 million POS terminals in the US, just 200,000 can accept Apple Pay and the system is of little interest to giants such as 7-Eleven.

Majors says that talk of Apple’s dominant early position is overblown. He expects Google, PayPal, the retailers through MCX, and others to up their game and fight back. This in turn will force Apple to build on its modest foundation to add new features and services.

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