If you find yourself to be a person who often loses cash or misplaces credit cards, then using your smartphone as a mobile wallet may be the answer to your problems. With the increase of technology and the evolution of smartphones over the past years, consumers are now ditching their wallets and using smartphones to make purchases. Say goodbye to the hassles of carrying around that packed wallet of yours and let your smartphone carry all of that for you. What is mobile payment? Mobile payments, also known as mobile wallets, are just what they sounds like—the act of paying for purchasing through your mobile device. Instead of paying with cash, check, credit cards or debit cards, mobile wallets allow consumers to pay for your specific goods and services. Mobile wallets are quickly emerging and are becoming a thing of the future.   Apple Passbook One of things that are buried in our wallets is the countless gift cards that we forget we had because of the time it takes to actually search through wallets to find them.  Apple has seen this problem that consumers face and created the Apple Passbook to transfer gift cards, loyalty cards and even airplane boarding passes and movie tickets straight to your iPhone to better organize and hold your valuables. They paired up with successful companies such as Fandango, Target, Starbucks, United Airlines, Amtrak and the W hotels to make the experience for the user as easy as possible to use their smartphones. Almost exactly similar to Apple’s Passbook, Samsung is looking to release to the Samsung Wallet app soon so that their users can get the same experience has Apple users. Google Wallet Not an Apple or Samsung smartphone user and a part of the Android family? One of the perks of being an Android user is its Google Wallet.  It has all of the same great features that the Apple Passbook has, while also being the ultimate mobile payment outlet by allowing users to store compatible debit cards and credit cards.  The Google Wallet is simple and easy to use through its Near Field Communications (NFC) technology that lets you load all of your data to it and has quick checkout payments from just a simple tap on your Android.         Banking Apps Need more reasons as to why so many consumers are embracing this new method of mobile payments? Three of the most trusted and major banking companies have joined in on the mobile payment frenzy.  American Express, Master Card and Visa have all created their own digital wallet app services that have special features such as peer-to-peer money transactions.  No longer do you have to spend your day driving and waiting in long lines at the bank when you can make your life so much easier with mobile payments.  With the ability to receive funds directly to and from another person’s bank account, you can also deposit checks by simply taking a picture of your check from your smartphone. Plus, you can even pay your bills wherever you are with these banking apps.           Square Wallet If you haven’t been convinced that mobile wallets have many advantages, then maybe the features from an app called Square Wallet will sway you. As with all of the other mobile apps explained above, the Square Wallet holds credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, checks, and receipts.  What is different and unique about the Square wallet is that it allows you to earn extra rewards for the purchases that you make at certain small business locations.  By accessing the Square directory, you are able to find retailers nearby that have special promotions for using the app, such as discounts, coupons and reward points. By discovering local retailers on Square Wallet, you can even share your favorite locations with your friends and family by sending them gift cards straight from your smartphone as a nice gift. Getting discounts and rewards from using mobile payments? Count me in.       What the Future Holds for Mobile Wallets With nearly half of the consumers in the United States owning smartphones today, it has opened up huge opportunities to expand the mobile payments market.  From the research found by Juniper Research, $12.8 billion was spent by consumers who used their smartphone to pay for their goods and services in 2012.  As mobile payments is the most talked about emerging segments of the mobile market today, it is predicted US mobile payments will reach $90 billion in 2017, which is an outstanding 48% growth rate from this past years success. Ready to take full advantage of what your smartphone and not only let it be your ways of communication, but also your wallet? Although you may not disconnect yourself from your wallet completely all at one time, the advantages of mobile payments make the shopping experience a more positive one.  Time are changing, and the technology we have today has created many different opportunities for consumers make use of their smartphones in ways that were unimaginable before.

Posted by David Yi, Social Media and SEO Assistant at Wireless Emporium