Will Mobile Payments on Wearable Devices Be the Next Big Thing?

September 29, 2014         By: Ellen Red

In a discussion on the future of wearable payments technologies, payments expert and Vice President of The Members Group, Brian Scott told his audience that these four essential qualities have to be present on wearable payments technologies:

Ubiquitous:  Feature that enables consumers to pay to any merchant or anyone regardless of the wearable device that they are using;

Easy: The technology can only be valuable to the consumers if it is easy to use;

Rewarding – Fast adoption of new technology can be achieved if the consumers can get something out of it or be rewarded for shifting to such new technology;

Secure: Security is the top most concerned of consumers. They have to be assured that their payment data cannot be compromised. 

In its “Mobile Payments: Only If Relevant and Useful” report, Mercator Advisory Group found that 2 in 5 consumers or 38% of adults in the U.S. are interested in wearable technology devices.

Fifty percent of the 3,002 U.S. adult consumers surveyed in June 2014 by Mercator Advisory Group in its report expressed their interest in wearable technology specifically for making payments.

Karen Augustine, Manager of Primary Data Services at Mercator Advisory Group, said in a statement, “Consumer enthusiasm for new wearable technology demonstrates that consumers want to use mobile payments but only if it’s easy to use and embedded with other relevant functionality.”

Meanwhile, Javelin Strategy & Research, in its “Investing in Wearables for Financial Services – Why Now?” noted that mass adoption will come when advances in augmented reality and speech recognition are incorporated in wearables.

Mark Schwanhausser, Director of Omnichannel Financial Services at Javelin Strategy & Research, said in a statement, “Platforms succeed when they entice developers to create apps that keep consumers coming back for more. Some developers and financial institutions initially will be satisfied with the softer ROI that can come with being the first to market and establishing a foothold with targeted products and services.”