The market is close to being saturated with mobile money offerings from banks, credit card companies, retailers and myriad players of all shapes and sizes. Consumers can be forgiven for being confused by what is on offer.
But how to cut through the hype and the noise to find out what service will be right for you? What will give you the means to genuinely leave your wallet at home?
I'd suggest that when thinking about what service to use you ask yourself the three questions below. If the answer to all three is yes, then you will be getting a mobile money service that can genuinely add value to your everyday life.
1) Does it do more than just payments?
Let's be honest, payments aren't broken and don't need fixing – your card works fine! So any solution that's offering you just another way to pay for a coffee isn't really going to revolutionise your life.
The solution that's going to do that is one that does more than just make payments. Can you use it to pay bills? Manage your money better? Can it replace your loyalty cards and vouchers? Will it reward you for your custom and help you find the products you want?
There are solutions on the market that can do all of these and more. Don't just settle for another way to pay.
2) Can it be used everywhere you want to shop and pay?
I'm willing to bet that you've got a Visa or MasterCard your wallet. Possibly both. And why? Because you can use them everywhere. They are accepted by just about every retailer worldwide, online and on the high street.
So, if you are looking for a mobile payment solution, why settle with something that's limited in use? Too many of the solutions require you to be a customer of a certain bank or can only be used in the UK.
That's no good when you have more than one bank account or go on holiday. If shopping using your mobile is limited by provider or geography the service simply won't be useful enough.
3) Is it secure and easy to use?
Paying with cash is easy. Paying with cards is easy. Paying with your mobile device should be easy too. The problem is that it's often not. The problem with new technology is that it often has teething troubles and that puts people off.
Security in particular is a major concern. And understandably so. I'm not going to name names but a quick Google will show you just how many people are getting frustrated and worried by these new services.
While the security of your financial details is vitally important, security shouldn't be a barrier to honest use either. Look for a solution that doesn't compromise between security and ease of use. They do exist!
Mobile money has enormous potential to make shopping and paying better. The very best ones can transform the entire experience. They can replicate all the functionality of your wallet and more.
With the right service you will only need your keys and your phone. Your wallet can stay at home.
David Pipe is chief marketing officer at ZNAP.