Mobile payments isn’t an entirely new concept, but it’s a concept that many hope would become a reality much sooner. Sometimes all you want to carry is your iPhone (or any other smartphone) without having to worry about a wallet as well. It’d be much easier to just pay for anything you want with the phone.
According to a new Nielsen report, 71 percent of people who download apps to their smartphones want to use their phones to pay at store registers.
Unfortunately, only 9 percent of users surveyed have actually used their phones to pay at registers. Presumably those people are regular Starbucks customers, or they have found the few stores that use Google Wallet and Square Card Case.
The number of iPhone users who want to pay using their phones is even higher. Of those iPhone users surveyed 75 percent said they would like to use their phones as a credit card, 39 percent said they were extremely or very interested. That payment method could be an app or something built into the phone. Either way the message is clear: many iPhone users just want to be able to use their phone to pay for real-world objects, and not just ones shipped from Amazon.
The Nielsen numbers are one of the more compelling reasons why Apple should build NFC into the new iPhone. If Apple can make some sort of deal with credit card companies an iPhone 5 with NFC could make mobile payments much bigger than they are now.
Google and PayPal really haven’t managed to get mobile payments off the ground with their efforts. Some of that is because there aren’t many stores that support their mobile payments. More of the issue is that there aren’t many phones that have the hardware to support the mobile payments. Google has to hope that manufacturers put NFC into their phones, which most don’t bother with.
An iPhone 5 with NFC would make mobile payments an option for many more people, as long as there are stores that support them.