NEW YORK CITY -- Amid the increasing emergence of mobile payment applications, a new study finds consumers prefer their trusted credit-card companies to technology brands like Facebook, Google and Apple to handle their transactions.
In the study by international advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, 500 U.S. online users were asked to select as many brands as they wanted in answering the question, "Who would you trust with mobile payments?" Nearly 40% of consumers chose Visa. MasterCard and American Express trailed close behind, with nearly 36% each.
Those polled for the survey were also more likely to trust the United States Postal Service with mobile payments than Apple, Microsoft or Google.
Among iPhone owners, Apple scored much higher, but still doesn't exceed their trust in credit-card companies.
Survey respondents selected Facebook as the least-trusted brand on the set list, with only 12% expressing trust. While eBay scored low, its PayPal payments brand wasn't far behind the credit-card companies, with 34% of respondents expressing trust.
The lesson to be learned for mobile technology providers, said survey creator Martin Lange, executive marketing director and worldwide head of mobile for Ogilvy & Mather, is to promote alliances with credit card companies to win the confidence of consumers.
MasterCard and Citibank, for instance, are both partners in the new Google Wallet smartphone payment application, which reportedly will be tested by Coca-Cola in vending machines. And Visa has invested in Square, a payments startup, and also joined Isis, the mobile payments joint venture of Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. AmEx has also launched a mobile-payments product, Serve, and has partnered with Foursquare, a location-based social networking website based on hardware for mobile devices, and Facebook.