Why Businesses Are Slow to Jump on the Mobile Wallet Bandwagon

It’s been over five years since Google released their first version of a mobile wallet, and since then many other companies have followed suit.

Here are a few of the bigger companies jumping on board the mobile wallet bandwagon:

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Walmart
  • Chase Bank

Mobile wallets provide consumers with the ease of using a smartphone as their main source of payment – eliminating the need for traditional wallets, plastic debit/credit cards, and cash. The idea makes perfect sense, yet the majority of shoppers have not jumped onto the bandwagon.

Of all the technological developments that are taking place, what seems to be wrong with this one?

David Salisbury of Star Cloud Services has a few ideas:


1. Retailer Acceptance

If the hope is for consumers to use their mobile device as a universal payment platform, then retailers and businesses would need to participate.

However, many business owners have not made the switch to POS systems that accept mobile wallets. Or, if they have, they may only accept certain versions.

For a business to convert its existing POS system, it would have to apply updates that can get quite expensive. Many small business owners simply don’t have the funds necessary to adapt to this necessity.

2. Inability to Store Picture ID & Other Vital Card Information

When it comes to shopping, consumers have more to worry about than cash or credit.

An individual’s wallet may hold dozens of different card types at any given time, including:

  • Driver’s License, or Picture ID
  • Individual Store Credit Cards
  • Shopping Reward Program Cards

Until a mobile wallet is able to store all necessary information for any card type, it seems unlikely that shoppers will be getting rid of their billfolds.

3. Itemized Digital Receipts

Digital receipts that are received through mobile wallets don’t currently offer itemization.

This is problematic for both shoppers and retailers. The amount of time it will take to handle returns, exchanges, or other post-purchase questions would be much greater using digital wallet receipts.

In essence, they serve more as payment verification than anything else.

Conclusion: These Problems are Fixable

It seems quite likely that we’ll eventually see a major rise in mobile wallet usage, once these obstacles are overcome.

If developers consider the previous issues, consumers will be much more willing to use their products, and the entire process can be successfully streamlined.