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People Aren't Rushing to Inevitable Smartphone Payments

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- More than six in 10 Americans believe smartphone payments will eventually replace payment cards (66%) and cash (61%) transactions for most purchases, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. Not anytime soon, though.

Only 32% believe smartphone payments will replace card payments in less than five years, and just 26% feel cash will be replaced by smartphone payments within five years.

Respondents didn't show much interest in replacing their own card or cash transactions for purchases with the tap of a smartphone. Just 27% of Americans and 44% of smartphone users report an overall interest in using their smartphone to process in-person payments.

There are clear lines as to which consumers want the technology:

  • Younger respondents, such as echo boomers (40%) and Gen Xers (34%), have a stronger interest in it than either baby boomers (18%) or mature adults (7%).
  • Men (32%) are much more interested in this technology than women (22%).
  • Households with children (38%) have a stronger interest than those in households without children (22%).

There seems to be a couple of factors standing in the way of a greater acceptance. Of those respondents saying they have little or no interest in it, approximately half said they were concerned about security, such as not wanting to store sensitive data on their phone or transmit data to a merchant's device; and the same amount did not want to own a smartphone.


The same amount simply did not see any reason to switch away from cash or card payments.

The Harris Poll was conducted online with 2,383 adults between Nov. 14-19.

Hall is managing director of Human Capital Systems (www.humancapitalsystems.com), a firm that designs systems for improving workforce performance. He is also an instructor in Duke Corporate Education's teaching network and author of The New Human Capital Strategy. Hall was formerly a senior vice president at ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam and IBM Asia-Pacific's executive in charge of executive leadership and organization effectiveness. During his tenure, IBM was twice ranked No. 1 in the world in Hewitt/Chief Executive magazine's "Top Company for Leaders." Hall completed his Ph.D in industrial-organizational psychology at Tulane University, with a dissertation on people management practices of Japanese corporations.

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