Innovations and Payment Systems

In-person smartphone payments? No thanks, most say


Most of us say “meh” to the idea of paying by smartphone, though young people, particularly men, show more interest in mobile payments

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Who is interested in using a smartphone to make in-person payments? Not all that many people, but those who are tend to be younger people who already own a smartphone, says a Harris Interactive survey released in November 2013.

In the poll, 2,577 U.S. adults were asked, “How interested are you in being able to use your smartphone to process in-person payments via tapping a special receiver, rather than using cash or payment cards?”

The poll found only tepid enthusiasm for the idea, with 56 percent of all respondents expressing little or no interest. Just one in four — 24 percent — said they were somewhat or very interested. The rest weren’t sure. No segment of the population had a majority in  favor of smartphone payments, though owners of smartphones came closest, with 37 percent expressing interest.

Age made a big difference in how interested people were. Among those ages 18-35, the youngest cohort measured, 35 percent were favorably inclined toward in-person smartphone payments. People 67 and older showed the least interest, at 12 percent.

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