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Do you trust your mobile payment systems?

Mobile and digital payment systems may be on the rise but according to a new report eight out of 10 consumers still have doubts about the technology.

The Future of Retail report from PR company Walker Sands (opens in new tab) points to a major player being able to take the lead in digital payments if they’re able to connect with what consumers want.

The use of cash continues to decline with 59 percent of the 1,400 US consumers surveyed carrying less than $20 (£13) in their pocket. However, most are waiting for a trusted digital payment source - only four per cent have used Apply Pay, though 18 per cent say its introduction makes them more likely to make a purchase with their smartphone in the next year. That number rises to 36 per cent when Apple users are asked.

There also seems to be demand among younger generations for peer-to-peer payments. Half of those aged 18-25 say they are likely to exchange money with a friend or colleague via a mobile application such as Venmo or QuickPay. This compares to only 19 per cent of those ages 46-60.

As yet though there's no major loyalty to any one mobile payment system - 2 per cent have used Venmo and 16 per cent have used a banking application, such as QuickPay, to transfer funds.

The study shows that mobile payment applications are used most often for social events, restaurants (24 per cent) and bars (17 per cent) were the most popular reasons cited for using peer-to-peer payment applications. The future could, therefore, be bright for Facebook's newly announced P2P payment system (opens in new tab).

The study concludes that retailers need to offer flexibility in the payment methods they accept, whilst at the same time addressing consumer concerns. "...with cash on the decline and hacking scandals eroding trust in traditional POS systems, retailers who embrace mobile payments and convince consumers it's a safe way to make a purchase might be able to offer the best of both worlds."

The full study is available to download from the Walker Sands website (opens in new tab).

Photo Credit: Slavoljub Pantelic (opens in new tab)/Shutterstock (opens in new tab)

Ian Barker worked in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He has worked for a staff writer on a range of computer magazines including PC Extreme, was editor of PC Utilities, and has written for TechRadar, BetaNews, IT Pro Portal, and LatestGadgets.