Newer smartphones increasingly come loaded with mobile payment solutions. But are mobile payment security concerns holding back their use?

According to recent research by the Pew Charitable Trusts, 46 percent of consumers in the US have made a mobile payment, amounting to some 114 million adults. While smartphone ownership is increasing, up from 44 percent of mobile phones in 2011 to 76 percent in 2015, their use for making mobile payments isn’t growing as strongly.

The Benefits of Mobile Payments

Using smartphones to make payments allows for online or point-of-sale purchases and bill paying. Mobile payments also provide users with the ability to send or receive money through mobile handsets via browsers, text messages or specific apps such as Samsung Pay. Users of mobile payments cite advantages such as the option to receive rewards, discounts and electronic receipts, as well as the speed and ease with which payments can be made.

Barriers Remain

However, one of the biggest barriers reported is concern about mobile payment security, with most worries centered around identity theft or loss of funds. In particular, consumers want their personal data to be protected, with eight out of 10 respondents in the chartbook from Pew Charitable Trusts stating that they wished to see steps taken to regulate how data is collected, stored and used. The vast majority want to be allowed to have data permanently deleted and to be able to view and make changes to their data profiles. However, it’s unknown whether these perceptions over data collection reflect reality, since the research also found that consumers are generally unaware of what data on them is being collected and how it’s being used.

Mobile payment providers are responding to these security concerns. For example, Samsung Pay offers multiple layers of mobile payment security, such as ensuring that payment data is kept separate and isn’t stored or shared. Its devices are also equipped with fingerprint readers for stronger levels of authentication security.

Age Affects Uptake

While many consumers still prefer to use cash, the research revealed that age is the main determinant of whether consumers are willing to embrace mobile payments. It found that 72 percent of mobile payment users are millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 and Generation Xers from 35 to 50 years of age. This figure falls to 24 percent for baby boomers and drops dramatically to just 5 percent of those aged over 70. Usage was also more prevalent among those living in metropolitan areas and those with bank accounts and higher levels of educational attainment. However, age was found to be by far the greatest determinant of usage.

The fact that younger consumers, who also display the highest levels of smartphone ownership, appear most willing to accept mobile payment security solutions holds much promise for the future of mobile payments. Mobile payments are a relatively new phenomenon, with many solutions only having been launched in the past couple of years. Younger people are particularly attached to their smartphones, considering them their device of choice for an increasing range of purposes. As mobile payment solutions continue to mature and security concerns are alleviated through solutions such as Samsung Pay, the ease, speed and convenience of making transactions from mobile devices is likely to continue gaining popularity.

Are you interested in learning how Samsung Pay can make your transactions more secure? Learn here how this solution keeps your information safe at all times.

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Fran Howarth

Fran Howarth is an industry analyst specializing in security. She has worked within the security technology sector for over 25 years as an analyst, consultant and writer. Fran focuses on the business needs for security technologies, with a focus on emerging technology sectors. Current areas of focus include mobile security, cloud security, information governance and data security, identity and access management, network and endpoint security, security intelligence and analytics, and security governance and regulations. Follow Fran on Twitter: @FranNL

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