Mobile Wallet That Saves Me Money? Now That's "Smart"

You surely will laugh at my resistance to deposit a check through an ATM machine – in 2011. As progressive as I am about technology, to this day I have always walked into a bank, waited on line and walked out with my deposit record delivered to me by a teller. So you now want me to adopt a behavior that has me bumping or scanning my money into my account?

On a panel at last week’s Boomer Summit in San Francisco, Intuit’s Omar Green made a case for me to be “smarter”. Of course, I have a smartphone – actually I carry two. What I don’t have is a smart mobile wallet. Neither do you but that is soon to change if Green’s timeline is correct. Intuit’s director of strategic mobile initiatives said his company is building a mobile wallet that guides you to the optimum purchase.

Green spoke of a scenario where the wallet advises you on which credit card to use to get maximum return and the times when you should cash in loyalty points and save your money. That is a compelling concept for me assuming I can get past the reluctance to hand to Intuit or anyone else details of my arrangements with American Express, the retailer in the mall, and the like.

But unlike the ATM where I save time (admittedly no small thing) but nothing else, I conceivably would receive real monetary rewards from a “smart” mobile wallet. Surely Intuit won’t be the only company to incentivize me to participate. Those chasing the mobile wallet dream include Google, eBay, PayPal, the mobile operators in a joint venture called ISIS, and thousands or more other entities.

Are we ready? In a KPMG study, U.S. respondents who said they were comfortable using their mobile devices for financial transactions grew only to 16 percent, a 6 percent increase from the last survey. Respondents not comfortable with such usage declined to 55 percent, an 11 percent drop from the last survey. Among all U.S. respondents who have not conducted banking through a mobile device, 52 percent cited security and privacy as the primary reason. Consistent with many technology advances, younger consumers are more likely to participate at least in the early days.

Why might a “smart” mobile wallet work? According to the Yankee Group, 73 percent of mobile subscribers want an offer. I’m in that category. If I do join the 21st Century when it comes to financial transactions, I’ll use the phone on one of my mobile devices to record the moment.

(first appeared on iMedia Connection --