Mobile Payments: Consumer and Regulatory Research

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

Mobile Payments: Consumer and Regulatory Research
Cell PhoneGetty Images

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.

Mobile payments use has become widespread.
Mobile payments use has become widespread.
Issue Brief

Who Uses Mobile Payments?

Learn More
Quick View
Issue Brief

Who Uses Mobile Payments?

Mobile payments technology allows customers to make online and point-of-sale purchases, pay bills, and send or receive money from their smartphones via the Web browser, an app, or a text message. Mobile payments use has become widespread: Forty-six percent of U.S. consumers report having made a mobile payment, which translates to approximately 114 million adults.

Learn More
Unbanked consumers have a number of concerns about making mobile payments
Unbanked consumers have a number of concerns about making mobile payments
Issue Brief

What Do Consumers Without Bank Accounts Think About Mobile Payments?

Quick View
Issue Brief

Mobile payments technology allows customers to make online and point-of-sale purchases, pay bills, and send or receive money from their smartphones via Web browsers, apps, or text messages, and it has the potential to increase financial inclusion for consumers without bank accounts—the unbanked.

banking; mobile banking
banking; mobile banking
Issue Brief

Is This the Future of Banking?

Quick View
Issue Brief

Use of mobile payments in the United States is projected to grow at a 22 percent compound annual rate through 2019 and could offer a more convenient and less expensive way for Americans to manage their money, especially the more than 9 million U.S. households that are unbanked—that is, do not have bank accounts.

Additional Resources

network
network
Report

How Can Regulators Promote Financial Innovation While Also Protecting Consumers

Quick View
Report

How Can Regulators Promote Financial Innovation While Also Protecting Consumers

Recent research demonstrates the difficulties regulators around the globe face in addressing innovations in the financial system, especially emerging mobile payments and banking platforms.

Mobile banking is fraught with regulatory overlap, gaps, and ambiguities.
Mobile banking is fraught with regulatory overlap, gaps, and ambiguities.
Data Visualization

Who Is Regulating Mobile Payments?

Quick View
Data Visualization

Every day, Americans use their smartphones to transfer money, pay for goods and services, and make donations. These transactions are collectively referred to as mobile payments. This infographic provides an overview of the many federal agencies that oversee the mobile payments marketplace, including payment processors and products.

The use of mobile wallet apps and mobile banking is on the rise.
The use of mobile wallet apps and mobile banking is on the rise.
Video

Mobile Payments: The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing

Quick View
Video

Ever use your smartphone to pay for parking or split the dinner bill with a friend? More people are using their phones as a mobile wallet and most mobile transactions work just fine. But with technology constantly evolving the rules that should protect consumers simply haven’t caught up.