A study conducted by an MIT professor finds that heavy users of near-frictionless mobile payments also demonstrate lower levels of financial literacy, along with a tendency to buy more and save less. The study raises questions as to whether the "uberization" of payments is a net positive for consumers.
In spite of that, there is potential good news tucked in these results. Our findings suggest that mobile-payment services are attracting segments of customers with a range of needs beyond simple monetary transactions. These needs—such as help managing short-term debt or minimizing fees—offer opportunities for fintech innovators.