Mobile Payments: Consumer and Regulatory Research

Studies find legal inconsistencies, user concerns, and opportunities for growth

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Mobile payments enable consumers to conduct financial transactions using web browsers, apps, or text messages on their smartphones or other mobile devices. These products and services have the potential to provide consumers with greater convenience and lower costs when managing their money and to increase financial inclusion for consumers without bank accounts.

As the popularity of mobile payments grows, it becomes increasingly important to understand the legal framework in which these transactions take place. Regulatory overlap, gaps, and ambiguities exist in the federal and state statutes that govern mobile transactions, and many laws have not kept pace with this emerging technology. These uncertainties must be addressed to give financial service providers a clear regulatory framework and to ensure that consumers who use mobile payment have appropriate and reliable protections.

Pew has published information on the legal framework for mobile payments and survey research on consumers’ attitudes toward and usage of these products and services.

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Esther Berg

Officer, Communications