Infographic: The growing ways we e-pay

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller


We all know how useful PayPal and other online payment services can be for buying things online. But more and more Americans are discovering how handy these e-payments can be in other everyday situations.

Payments research firm Mercator Advisory Group recently found that 2 in 3 adults (65 percent) use payment services such as PayPal, Google Checkout and Amazon Payments. The occurrence is higher among millennials, with 78 percent of those age 18 to 34 reporting the use of e-payments.

Online shopping is still by far the most common use among everyone, with 84 percent of payment service consumers reporting they made an online purchase with an e-payment in the last year. But that incident rate appears to have plateaued, flat-lining between 84 and 86 percent for the past three years.

In contrast, the use of e-payments for a handful of other uses is bounding upward. Most notably, payment services are now being used for in-store purchases, via smartphone, by 3 out of 10 e-payment consumers (30 percent), up from just 22 percent two years ago.

Transferring money to family and friends is another common use, coming in at 27 percent this year versus 22 percent in 2014. Additional uses that have shown noteworthy growth over the last two years are paying bills such as tuition, utilities and household services, and when sharing a cost for two or more people.

Mercator’s findings are drawn from a June 2016 online survey of over 3,000 U.S. adults. The results were released Jan. 5, 2017.


See related:  More infographics

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Updated: 03-18-2019