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Why Consumers Aren’t Buying the Idea of Mobile Wallets – Yet

Why Consumers Aren’t Buying the Idea of Mobile Wallets – Yet
Knowledge@Wharton | August 13, 2014

The versatile smartphone has become indispensable to the average consumer. It is a music player, alarm clock, game console, GPS navigation device and even a TV screen, in addition to being a cell phone. But one thing it struggles to be is a wallet.

That is not for lack of trying. Three years ago, Google introduced Google Wallet, a mobile app that lets consumers transfer money, redeem coupons or pay for purchases with a tap of their smartphones. Consumers can also store their credit, debit and retail loyalty cards as well as other information in the app. Last year, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile launched a mobile wallet called Isis (whose name is being changed to avoid confusion with the militant group). In the same year, PayPal rolled out a digital wallet. Amazon is testing Amazon Wallet now, and Apple is rumored to be introducing one as part of iPhone 6 this fall. Throw in startups like Venmo, LevelUp and Loop, and you have a crowded marketplace vying for users.

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