A new survey shows that more American consumers are using mobile wallets.

Results compiled and published by consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey show that 15 percent of consumers used a mobile wallet in the past six months and another 22 percent plan to in the next six months. Each category showed improvement from the firm's previous study in 2013, which showed only 9 percent of consumers using mobile wallets and 20 percent were considering its use. The number of consumers who did not plan to use the service fell from 71 percent to 63 percent in that same period.

Mobile wallets are smart device applications that allow users to store all of their credit and debit cards — some even allow prepaid, gift and loyalty cards — in the app for later use. When customers want to make a purchase, they simply select which card they wish to use, tap their device to the point of sale (POS) system — both the device and POS have to be equipped with near field communication (NFC) — and their payment is processed.

Big companies are betting on the service, with Apple, Google and Samsung all making in-roads to market. Adoption is expected to increase as both NFC capable devices increase in availability and merchants upgrade POS equipment for embedded chip cards, as many of the new devices include capabilities for both platforms. Like embedded chip cards, mobile wallets encrypt data before transmitting it, adding security to the transactions.

The report also shows that familiarity with mobile wallets has increased in the last two years. In 2013, 50 percent of people were unfamiliar with the technology, which dropped to only 37 percent in the new report. This year, 18 percent were very familiar and 44 percent were somewhat familiar with the platform, up 10 percent and 2 percent from 2013, respectively. 

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