Commonwealth Bank survey predicts triumph of mobile wallets

Physical wallet dead in less than a decade

Physical wallets and paying with cash or credit and debit cards will be (mostly) a thing of the past in less than a decade if the results of a survey sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank are to be believed.

The survey, conducted in January and February this year by Lonergan Research, polled the views of more than 1000 Australians. Seventy three per cent of the participants expected that a mobile wallet would replace their physical wallet within the next seven and a half years.

"Consumers are 'going mobile' and they are clearly showing their preference for the convenience and simplicity of transacting on mobile anywhere, anytime and on any device. We expect this trend will only continue," the bank's CIO, Michael Harte, said in a statement.

The survey found that most Australians are likely to trust banks to as providers of mobile wallets; 44 per cent of participants trusted them, compared to 16 per cent who trusted the government, 14 per cent who trusted technology companies and 10 per cent who trusted retailers.

The Commonwealth Bank unveiled its mobile payment application, Kaching, in October 2011. The app was initially released for the iPhone, with an Android version released in mid-2012.

Originally the application allowed peer-to-peer payments across a variety of platforms, including Facebook and the company later added contactless payment support. The bank also released a 'PayTag' offering: A sticker that can be attached to a smartphone's chassis and is designed to operate in tandem with an on-phone app.

Late last year Eftpos launched a mobile payment trial. The technology used could use wireless, near field communications (NFC), Bluetooth or QR codes for payments. A commercial launch of the cloud-based payments platform is envisaged for next year, Eftpos' CEO, Bruce Mansfield, has previously told Computerworld Australia.

Eftpos' trial was being conducted in conjunction Coles, Commonwealth Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, despite those companies all having their own mobile payment projects.

"[A] collaborative approach to support one universal solution across a market like ours is always going to be more likely to succeed," Mansfield told Computerworld in the interview conducted in January this year.

Westpac, ANZ and NAB are all working on contactless mobile payment offerings.

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