Half of US consumers unfamiliar with mobile payments - Verifone survey

Source: Verifone

As the infrastructure for widespread use of in-store mobile payment locks into place across the U.S., the industries involved can accelerate adoption by better educating consumers on the performance and ease of use of mobile pay services, a recent survey by Verifone of U.S. consumer attitudes suggests.

Conducted online by Wakefield Research among 1,000 adults 18+, the survey took place during the busy holiday shopping season, between December 16 and December 23, 2014, timed to coincide with maximum consumer interest in retail payment options.

More than half of respondents – 53 percent – said it was important for more stores to install devices that enable consumers to pay with their smartphones, indicating wide receptivity to mobile pay options once they’re provided.  The response was significantly higher among younger consumers; 64 percent of respondents aged 40 and below agreed that more stores should install devices that allow customers to use smartphones to pay.

Additionally, 84 percent of respondents said they would use their smartphones to pay for small and medium purchases, such as a cup of coffee or pair of jeans.   

EDUCATING THE MARKET

At the same time, the survey showed that half of consumers polled were unfamiliar with mobile technologies such as near field communication (NFC) and mobile wallets.  Similarly, half of respondents said they were unlikely to shop in a store because it used in-store tracking technology to provide offers on mobile devices.

“This is a classic case of new technologies needing to reach critical mass before consumers come on board,” said Joe Mach, senior vice president and general manager of vertical solutions at Verifone.  “Today, in 2015, the pieces are fitting into place – what’s essential now is for the industries driving the mobile payment revolution, from finance to retail to systems providers, to educate consumers on mobile payment’s benefits and easy use.”

THE PATH OF PAYMENTS

Other key survey data include:

  • Credit/debit cards remain the primary method of payment for 63 percent of all survey respondents, with six percent favoring alternative paymentth six percent favoring alternative payment options such as PayPal, and four percent preferring mobile wallet services.
  • A total of 54 percent of survey respondents are familiar with EMV technology.  Of this group, 39 percent use credit or debit cards that have EMV chips as their primary or secondary payment method; among respondents under 40 years of age, 49 percent use credit or debit cards that have EMV chips as their primary or secondary payment method.
  • More than half of respondents – 56 percent – are willing to continue shopping at a store whose credit card information was stolen; the number of consumers who are less likely to continue shopping at such a store was 44 percent.
  • Among the advantages cited to using smartphones instead of traditional payment methods, speed of use ranked first (34 percent), followed by freedom from carrying a wallet (29 percent), access to mobile deals (24 percent), ease in tracking spending (23 percent) and safety of personal data (18 percent).

EARLY ADOPTER SCENARIO

“The survey data illustrate a typical early adopter scenario – high awareness among younger consumers, which is the essential precursor to mass market adoption,” said Mach. “The mobile payment industry is an industry on the cusp, with so many components essential to success, such as EMV and ApplePay, coming into focus for the first time, and delivering real value to the end user.”

Wakefield Research methodology engaged survey respondents first with an email invitation, followed by a 13-question online survey.  Magnitude of variation is approximately 3.1 percentage points.  Survey data breakouts are available by gender, age, geographic region (Northeast, South, Midwest, West) and regional character (urban, suburban, rural).

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