Payment Types Are Changing, but Who Customers Trust Is Not

Despite the well-publicized release of several new mobile payment technologies, in a survey by Ogilvy & Mather, consumers made it clear that they do not trust tech companies with handling their money.

When five hundred US online users were asked who they do trust with their mobile payments and were allowed to pick any number of brands on a set list, big brands such as eBay, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were not at the top. Instead, consumers opted to use the same companies they are currently relying on for everyday transactions. This includes credit card companies such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express who 39.6, 35.6, and 35.8 percent of consumers trusted respectively in the survey.

Tech companies weren’t even second in line behind credit card companies. Instead, 34.3 percent of consumers were likely to trust PayPal and 24.6 percent were willing to trust the US Postal Service with their mobile payments. These percentages surpassed the 22.9 percent trusting Apple, the tech company that consumers claimed they trusted the most with mobile payments.

However, despite the fact that consumer trust rests in the hands of the credit card companies, tech companies are still responsible for most of the technology required for mobile transactions. This is evident in the case of Google Wallet, which is designed to function like a credit card. However, Google didn’t take on the mobile payment market alone, but instead chose to partner with Mastercard.

In fact, Mastercard isn’t the only credit card company that is teaming up with tech companies to reach into the mobile payment industry. Visa has put money into two mobile payment companies this summer by investing in Square and purchasing Fundamo and is also partaking in a mobile payment joint venture with Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Similarly, AmericanExpress is partnering with Foursquare and Facebook and has also launched its own mobile payment product.

Therefore, when it comes to monetary transactions, the majority of consumer trust still remains firmly in the hands of credit card companies. However, these companies are mostly partnering with and relying on already established, albeit less trusted, tech companies in order to capitalize on new technologies and services within the mobile payment sector.