Digital wallets are safe, yet Americans remain wary

Personal Finance

Mobile wallets are clearly the wave of the future. Yet there’s a major obstacle standing in the way.

Digital payments grew to about $721 billion in 2017, according to Experian. But because of the long-standing reliance on credit cards, mobile payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay are being adopted at a slower rate in the U.S.

Spending by American consumers just cracked $1,000, on average, for the first time last year according to eMarketer research.

Naturally, phone-friendly millennials are paving the way with peer-to-peer payment apps like Zelle and Paypal‘s Venmo, which let users store their banking information on their smartphone so they can make electronic purchases.

More than 1 in 10 millennials use their digital wallet for every purchase, Experian said (especially food, rent and Uber rides). It’s everyone else that’s dragging their feet.

A survey by Experian found that 55 percent of all consumers are sticking with traditional credit cards because of safety concerns.

Although 25 percent of consumers have used a mobile app on their phone to make a payment — a number that will continue to grow — only 12 percent of consumers trust alternative payment providers to protect their payments, according to a separate survey from the American Bankers Association.

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