Mobile payment is not something new. Many people pay their bills through their mobile phones, including electric bills and bank payments. In 1997, Coca-Cola and Merita Bank were among the first companies to accept this payment method. Purchases and bank transactions could be made through text. There’s also another type of mobile payment, which is known as the contactless payment. The phone is swiped, waved, put on top of a card reader for the payment to be processed. This too was first used in 1997 with Speedpass allowing customers to pay through this.
Today, this type of payment, which is also known as mobile wallet payment is used by around 25% of smartphone users. Although majority of people still use credit card and cash as their main payment method, the number of mobile wallet payment users is expected to rise in the coming years. Like any other type of payment method, this too has its pros and cons. It’s best to weigh its benefits and drawbacks.
Pro: Setting the App is Simple
Like other mobile applications, they can be easily downloaded on the provider’s website or usually via the Google Play and App Store. Setting up your account to start using the wallet and linking your credit card is also often easy. If you decide to use mobile wallet, it’s no rocket science to set it up.
Pro: Manage Bank and Credit Card Accounts Conveniently
You can link various credit cards and bank accounts that would make it easier to manage them. There’s no need to carry several cards with you if you have them linked on your mobile wallet. Transactions can also be checked conveniently in one place.
Pro: Lower Transfer Fee
Transferring funds using mobile wallet is usually lower than the traditional method of fund transfer. The savings could add up in the long run.
Pro: Safer to Use
This doesn’t mean that it’s 100% safe as there are still security risks. However, compared to cash and credit cards that can easily be stolen, you’re most likely always holding your phone so there’s less probability that it would be stolen. Moreover, some of these apps require passcodes or thumbprints to be used.
Con: Not Yet Supported by Many Merchants and Shops
It’s not yet widely supported so you can only use it on some merchants and stores. If the restaurant, shop, company or product and service provider you go to don’t accept mobile payment, then you will not be able to use it.
Con: You Can’t Use It If Phone Battery Dies
The app is installed in your phone so you would need your mobile device to make the transaction. If the battery dies, you would be forced to pay with your credit card or cash, unless you find a way to have your battery charged right there and then, which can be inconvenient.
Con: Can’t Be Used If There’s No Coverage
It doesn’t always happen all the time, but there’s a possibility that it could. Even if the merchant or shop accepts mobile wallet payment and your phone’s battery is fully charged, if your mobile network doesn’t have coverage then you will not be able to have your transaction processed since you would need this to open the wallet app.
Con: May Cause Overspending
Since this is also link to your credit cards, you may end up spending more than you wish to purchase as funds is available. You should still have control over your spending to avoid experiencing this problem.
Do you consider using mobile wallet for your payments? Why or why not? We would love to hear your view in this matter.
Featured and 1st image by HLundgaard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by Reza luke (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
3rd image by Shoppers_on_Dundas,_near_Yonge.jpg: Ian Muttoo derivative work: Pbsouthwood [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons