MOBILE phones may replace our wallets by 2016, according to research by Forrester and commissioned by PayPal. It stated: “2016 will be the year when UK shoppers will be able to use their mobile phones to pay for things on the high street with digital money rather than cash, cheques or cards”. The results are based on interviews with 10 senior executives from major UK businesses, representing a combined 2010 turnover of £85 billion.
Carl Scheible, Managing Director of PayPal UK, claimed, “We’ll see a huge change over the next few years in the way we shop and pay for things. By 2016, you’ll be able to leave your wallet at home and use your mobile as the 21st century digital wallet. 2016 will mark the real start of money’s digital switchover in the UK. We’re not saying cash will disappear entirely, but we’ll increasingly use our phones and other devices rather than our wallets to pay in-store as well as online.”
Scheible added that the “The lines between the online world and high street will soon disappear altogether. Children born today will become the UK’s first ‘cashless generation’. It will be completely natural for them to pay by mobile.”
The study also suggested that almost half of mobile users use their devices to make a purchase every three months. With the smartphone market being constantly saturated, it’s thought that the trend will only grow more popular.Increasing numbers of online retailers are offering PayPal alongside credit cards, and eBay is to open a shop which encourages visitors to pay for goods with their mobile phones rather than at a conventional till.
PayPal said it expects to process more than $3.5 billion in mobile payment volume in 2011 – five times the volume it processed in 2010. By 2016, UK mobile retail sales will hit £2.5 billion, PayPal claims, as just over 14 million adults will regularly shop via their mobiles.
Would you ditch your wallet?