Survey: In mobile payments, enthusiasm outpaces adoption

New research from Compass Plus, a provider of retail banking and electronic payments software, shows that industry professionals believe mobile payments, NFC and contactless technology will reach mass adoption within five years — despite previous survey results indicating that they should be mainstream already.

Compass Plus has conducted research on industry expectations for the payments market since 2011. This year’s survey, which polled more than 190 payments and banking experts from across the globe, found that nearly one-third of respondents (31.3 percent) think mobile payments will go mainstream in their region within the next five years.

This stands in contrast with previous Compass Plus annual surveys in which respondents said that mainstream adoption would occur within two to three years (2011) and within one to three years (2012). In either case, mobile payments would have been prevalent by now.

The growth of contactless payment has been similarly overestimated, the Compass Plus survey found. In 2011, the largest group of respondents (29 percent) said mass adoption would be reached within two years. However 42 percent now believe that mass adoption might be up to five years away.

Enthusiasm about new payment technologies is not translating to implementation, said Compass Plus EVP Maria Nottingham:

It is easy to get excited when new payments technology is introduced. However, experience has shown that no one payment channel becomes mainstream immediately. In the industry we tend to align our expectations with the potential of the technology rather than the consumer expectations. To truly reach a state of mass adoption, consumers need to be on board. It is clear that current approaches to mobile payments are lacking in the versatility that the other methods offer, and this is something that needs to be addressed.

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