One in three U.S. adults is interested in mobile and Near Field Communication-based payments, new data suggest.

And while the convenience factor is intriguing, security remains the top concern for anyone considering the use of mobile payments and digital wallets, the results of a consumer survey American Express Co. released March 22 indicate.

Consumers clearly are ready for a change, the data show. More than one-fourth, or 27%, of consumers "never" use checks, according to the survey of 1,600 U.S. adults ages 18 to 65.

Ipsos Research conducted the survey online Jan. 19 to Feb. 2.

Younger respondents were most intrigued by new payment options. More than half, or 52%, were interested trying mobile payments compared with 23% of those ages 55 to 65 that were.

But security ranked highest among all other factors affecting consumers' interest in mobile payments, with 83% of all respondents citing it as the most important factor and 62% citing fees as the second-most-important factor.

Banks continue to have the edge over other potential providers of mobile payments, the data suggest.

Some 62% of all respondents said they preferred financial institutions taking the lead on new payment methods instead of wireless or Internet companies, Amex said.

The majority, 77%, of respondents were "not very confident" that social-media companies would protect their financial information.

But younger respondents were somewhat less averse to using applications such as Facebook for e-commerce. Some 55% of respondents ages 18 to 24 said they did not feel secure shopping on a social-media site compared with 69% of those ages 55 to 65 that were.

"Millennials will be key to the success of online and mobile payments, but above all else, the research shows that consumers want their payment tools to be safe and secure," Dan Schulman, president of Amex's Enterprise Growth unit, said in a press release.

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