You specifically and Western society in general are fast approaching the day where the cashier at your local 7-Eleven store will ask you: “cash, credit or mobile?” and it is more than likely that you will choose the latter.
Consider this –
The number of point-of-purchase sales made is cash continues to drop each year, while the volume of mobile payments is currently estimated at over $230 Billion worldwide, by statista.com website.
The hottest questions today are what pay by mobile option you should choose and when will it become your default form of payment. The answers, however, are not so simple and depend mostly on the cash register’s technology, your mobile device and mobile operating systems.
Top Pay By Mobile Alternatives
The list of apps that allow you to pay with your phone is growing fast and though there is no one market leader at the time of writing of this post, it seems that down the road, there is a good probability that the battle will be between Google Wallet, Apple Pay and SoftCard (Formerly known as Isis).
While all 3 are strong contenders, only Google Wallet is offering a wide enough target audience, to be considered a possibility for gaining a mobile payment monopoly. Apple Pay is currently only available for iPhone 6 owners (and above) while SoftCard is only available to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile customers. This segmentation might still leave hope for smaller mobile payment apps and the Google Play market is indeed full of such apps.
A significant part of these pay by mobile apps make use of the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, which is, in laymen terms, the ability to wave your phone in front of the cash register and have it register your payment.
There are other technological solutions, such as the pay by SMS but at the moment, the tap & pay is the most popular option.
Which Pay by Mobile App Should You Download?
This next statement might sound weird: Assuming that you can, consider downloading more than just one app. Apple Pay is much newer, it features increased security and the number of places accepting Apple Pay is growing rapidly.
Google Wallet has been around longer and reportedly is accepted by a larger variety of stores. Plus, recent talks about acquiring SoftCard might make it even a bigger player in this market. Yet, thestreet.com reported that Apple Pay, whose been around for less than a year, has already gained 1% of total market share, while Google Wallet, being 4 years older, is only at 4% market share. This trend, should it persist, makes Apple Pay a popular app that probably will be accepted in a variety of stores (so having both apps allows you to pay by mobile more, as simple as that).
So if your heart’s set on replacing your physical, often fat and not rarely forgotten, traditional wallet with the mobile alternative, it might be a good idea to have more possibilities.