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Cellphone is the new wallet

By Marcie Geffner ·
Friday, June 3, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

Your cellphone or your wallet?

That's a question credit card giant MasterCard Worldwide tried to answer in a recent survey of consumers' attitudes toward using their cellphone to make payments for goods and services.

The survey found that 62 percent of respondents who use a mobile phone said they'd be open to the idea of using it to make purchases. But security and privacy were also paramount as an equal number of respondents said they'd need confirmation that their personal information was safe before they'd feel comfortable making such a transaction.

Other findings:

  • Sixty-three percent of respondents 18-34 years old said they'd feel at ease using a mobile phone to make purchases.
  • Thirty-seven percent of older respondents agreed.
  • Fifty-one percent of male respondents said they'd feel at ease using a mobile phone to make purchases.
  • Forty percent of women agreed.
  • Sixty-five percent of younger respondents said they'd feel more naked without their phone than without their wallet.
  • Thirty-four percent of the older group agreed.
  • Fifty-four percent of all respondents said other people's cellphones were more telling of their personality than their wallets were.
  • Forty-nine percent of male respondents said they'd be impressed by someone who paid a bill with a mobile application, or app, instead of a credit card.
  • Forty-five percent of women agreed.
  • Forty-five percent of women respondents said they'd rather have their phone than their wallet surgically attached to their body, so they'd always remember it when they went out.
  • Thirty-four percent of men agreed.

The survey apparently didn't ask how many respondents would prefer to forget their wallet and cellphone, rather than have either item surgically attached to their body.

The survey was conducted by Kelton Research between April 15 and April 22 online via email invitation.

Not coincidentally, MasterCard also recently announced its participation in the Google Wallet initiative, a tap-to-pay service that lets consumers tap their phone to pay when they shop at brick-and-mortar retailers and other merchants.

The service is expected to be introduced this summer, after a pilot program in New York and San Francisco.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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