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Mobile payment likely to gain widespread acceptance by 2020: study

(Xinhua)

10:34, April 18, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17 (Xinhua) -- By 2020, smart-device swiping will have gained mainstream acceptance as a method of payment by owners of smartphone and other devices, nearly eliminating the need in most cases for cash or credit cards, according to a new U.S. study released on Tuesday.

Nearly 65 percent of the people surveyed by Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project believed that by 2020 "most people will have embraced and fully adopted the use of smart- device swiping for purchases they make."

While the majority of respondents agreed that smart-device swiping is likely to be commonplace by 2020, relatively few who chose that view expect cash or credit cards to disappear entirely, the survey showed.

Some said that the changeover to "mobile wallets" is expected to unfold slowly due to resistance from those with a financial stake in the existing payment structure as well as other factors including privacy fears, a desire for anonymous payments and a lack of infrastructure to support widespread adoption.

The results are based on survey of 1,021 experts and other Internet stakeholders.

"For many of these experts, 'mobile money' represents more than just existing processes adapted to a new, more portable form factor," Janna Anderson, director of Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.

"They see this as an opportunity to implement security measures that are lacking in our current financial systems, to offer consumers more control over their spending and to even reinvent the way we think about the concept of 'money'," Anderson added.

As adoption of smartphone and other mobile devices has exploded in recent years, consumers have grown increasingly comfortable using their phones to transfer money, purchase goods, and engage in other types of financial transactions, the authors noted in the study.

Survey results from research firm comScore cited by the study found that 38 percent of smartphone owners have used their cell phone to make a purchase of some kind.

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