Smartphone payments are gaining traction among consumers — and quickly
Cash and plastic may still dominate most financial transactions by American consumers for now, but smartphone paymentsof all types are gaining significant traction, and quickly.
In two surveys conducted eight months apart, First Annapolis Consulting found that the number of smartphone users reporting at least one mobile payment in the previous 12 months jumped 45 percent, rising to almost 6 in 10 of the winter 2016 respondents (58 percent).
As in the spring 2015 survey, the most common type of mobile transaction eight months later was bill payments, reported by 44 percent of the recent respondents. Growth between the surveys was substantial, up from just a quarter of respondents (27 percent) in the spring.
Purchases made through an app or a mobile browser, such as with iTunes or Amazon, retained their runner-up status in the winter survey, and moved from 22 percent of respondents in the spring to almost 4 in 10 in December (39 percent).
While all mobile payment types exhibited notable increases between the two surveys, loyalty point transactions showed one of the biggest gains. These transactions – in which a loyalty card has been uploaded to a mobile wallet and then utilized at checkout to earn points on the purchase – doubled between the two surveys to 26 percent, overtaking in-store purchase payment as the third-ranked transaction type.
The largest jump was seen in person-to-person (P2P) payments. Although sending or receiving P2P payments was reported by just 21 percent of winter survey respondents – with millennials unsurprisingly being the largest group of transactors – the data represents a 163 percent increase over the 8 percent that indicated they had made a P2P payment at the time of the spring survey.
As credit and debit card industry consultants, First Annapolis conducted the winter 2016 survey online among 1,279 smartphone users in December 2015, while its spring survey was conducted in April 2015 among 1,001 respondents. Results for both surveys were generally representative of the smartphone user demographics of the U.S. population.
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