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Merchants reluctant to jump on mobile payments bandwagon

Merchants are seeing more reasons to not implement mobile payment options, including additional costs, security concerns and more complexity at the point of sale, than they are seeing reasons to join the revolution.

Consumers are more enthused with the concept, according to RetailCustomerExperience.com. A study by MasterCard released earlier this year showed that 62 percent of Americans with cell phones are open to using mobile devices to make purchases.

A recent survey by consulting firm KPMG, however, showed that merchants had mixed feelings regarding mobile payments. Only one in five respondents said that they thought mobile payments are very important today while more than half said the concept is still in its infancy. Seventy-five percent said they believe mobile payments are still two to four years from becoming mainstream, according to RetailCustomerExperience.com.

Jeff Muscarella, an IT spend expert, said that merchants have a lot riding on the point of sale process and mobile payments may mean a risk of downtime, RetailCustomerExperience.com reports.

Mobile payments will affect a merchant's POS, its processing, its security and its device management, Muscarella said, according to RetailCustomerExperience.com. Retailers have questions such as, "What happens if these things break? How do we get them fixed?"

Muscarella said consumers today have a better idea of what companies and industries will provide them with mobile payments than merchants and predicted that many companies won’t support and adopt mobile payments until 2013.

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