Study: Mobile payment apps lead to increased spending

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The holiday shopping season is in full effect, and many buying gifts this year are using their phones to pay for some of those items.

More and more people are utilizing the likes of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, but there's a warning for buyers -- paying with your phone could lead to you spending more money.

Right now, about half of Americans with cell phone use some form of mobile payments. But that number is expected to grow to 90 percent by 2020.

It's already the most popular type of payment in the biggest cities in China, where a new study found once people there adopted mobile pay into their everyday lives, their spending went up.

Researchers from the University of Illinois found that people using mobile payments made 23 percent more transactions than they did with physical credit cards, and their total amount spent increased 2.4 percent.

People mostly spent the extra money on low cost items like food and beverages, as well as entertainment items like movie tickets and travel.

Mobile payments are convenient, and researchers predict the trend could lead to people doing away with physical credit cards all together.

If you plan to try it out, there are some security concerns to look out for -- like if your phone is lost or stolen. That's like losing your card, so make sure you have strong passwords in place on your phone and accounts.

Second, be careful about apps that use public Wi-Fi. It could leave you vulnerable to hackers.

Also, be on the look out for malware. Most Android phones are at risk for malware or scam apps that could give hackers easy access to you phone, so be careful what you download.

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