As many as 25 million wireless phone subscribers in North America could be using their mobile phones as mobile wallets by 2011, reports In-Stat

April 19, 2006

2 Min Read

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As many as 25 million wireless phone subscribers in North America could be using their mobile phones as mobile wallets by 2011, reports In-Stat (, a high-tech market research firm. Unlike M-commerce, the mobile transaction concept touted in the 1990s that never took hold, the mobile wallet is a much more versatile application that includes elements of mobile transactions, as well as other items one may find in a wallet, such as membership cards, loyalty cards, and other forms of identification.

"In-Stat believes that the market can grow only by adopting a technology that offers the most versatility by providing both transaction capability and content discovery," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. "There are several technologies that could enable mobile wallet operations of handsets, including Near Field Communications (NFC), Radio Frequency (RFID), bar codes, and visual recognition. Standardization efforts around NFC may give that system the edge."

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • According to an In-Stat consumer survey, attitudes of US users towards mobile wallets are at best, lukewarm, with roughly one-third of respondents interested, one-third indifferent, and one-third uninterested.

    • The most frequently mentioned barrier to the mobile wallet is added fees for its use (72% of respondents), followed by security concerns about loss of the phone and privacy.

    • Survey data found that mobile wallet was most appealing to technology innovators and early adopters as well as subscribers who already rely heavily on their wireless phones.

    The research, "Mobile Wallet: More than M-Commerce" (#IN0602908MCM), addresses the North America market and includes forecasts for mobile wallet users in North America from 2005-2010. The report was developed through the results of an online survey of In-Stat's Technology Adoption Panel (TAP) and on interviews with key players in the sector including credit card company JCB, semiconductor vendor Philips, credit card terminal company ViVOtech, and traditional wireless companies such as Nokia and Cingular Wireless.

    This research is part of In-Stat's Mobile Consumer service, which integrates primary end-user research, strategic industry analysis, technology assessment, and applied econometrics to provide a unique 360-degree view of the US consumer market for mobile wireless services. It examines the US market for wireless data and multimedia applications, including SMS, MMS, mobile gaming, location-based services, downloadable content, mobile video and music, and wireless Internet services. It also provides a complete market view by combining analysis of technology trends and consumer behavior, including tracking and forecasting of wireless data spending by segment.


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