According to recent report by consumer research company Intersperience, consumers are wary about starting to use mobile wallets such as Google WalletÂ (above)Â becauseÂ they fear their phones could easily be hacked.
Their research also suggests that the current desire to use mobile wallets is pretty small, with just 17% keen on using one in the future.
The research respondents also revealed a mix of emotional and rational views on mobile payment security, with 24% of people saying using a mobile for payment â€œfeels less secure but I donâ€™t know whyâ€, while a further 24% believe their mobile is more likely to be stolen than their wallet.
It also showed that many consumers feel vulnerable following high profile phone hacking scandals. One respondent said: â€œAfter the recent phone hacking scandals itâ€™s clear that mobiles can be hacked. Iâ€™d be worried criminals would learn to do it.â€
Paul Hudson, CEO of Intersperience said: â€œThere is no doubt that the phone hacking scandals have unnerved consumers. We also detected a marked rise in security concerns when people use devices with mobile internet access compared to fixed access via PCs. These beliefs will impact the pace at which UK consumers adopt mobile payment systems.â€
The research showed that just 8% of adults currently use their mobile phone for payment although this is expected to increase as 21% said they would like to use their phone to buy something in future.
While 11% of people would hesitate to make a purchase via PC, this more than trebled to 37% when it came to the proportion who would hesitate to buy via a mobile phone.
Hudson commented: â€œThere is a common but not necessarily logical perception that as your internet link becomes â€˜untetheredâ€™ your information is automatically less secure. The belief stems from the context of mobile usage which is generally when you are on the move in public places, although in reality there are far higher instances of security breaches over PCs than mobiles.â€
The younger generation emerged as the keenest future fans of mobile commerce as one in three (33%) said they would like to use their mobiles to buy in future. Under 18s are also keener on mobile wallets or payment systems, with 25% happy to use one instead of a traditional payment method.
The figures will be worrying news for those looking to grow the use of mobile wallets, and it suggests that there needs to be a lot of consumer education about the safety of mobile wallets before its use will become widespread.