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How do consumers feel about mobile payments these days?

January 28, 2016

For the last several years, expectations for significant jumps in adoptions for mobile payment platforms have not yet been met.

For the last several years, expectations for a significant jump in adoptions for mobile payment platforms have not yet been met. But now it seems as though consumers are finally starting to warm to the idea of using these payment methods on a regular basis, and that could be good news for retailers across the country, regardless of their size.

Indeed, it is now expected that there should be a yearly growth rate for mobile adoption of about 22 percent between now and 2019, according to a new analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts, based on data culled from multiple focus groups on the topic. That may be a boon to many Americans, including the roughly 9 million consumers who do not rely upon traditional banking services for their daily financial needs.

Mobile payments will soon be the norm, but there are still obstacles to overcome.Mobile payments will soon be the norm, but there are still obstacles to overcome.

What will drive adoption?
Perhaps not surprisingly, more affluent, younger consumers are likely to be at the vanguard of this coming wave of adoption, far more so than their older counterparts in similar financial positions, the report said. This is also a group that has been far more likely to adopt mobile banking in their everyday lives, including for cashing checks on occasion, so they may see mobile payments as simply a natural extension of the same idea.

However, it should be noted that right now, young people are typically using mobile payment platforms to buy items online, or to transfer money from one person to another, and they prefer to do so because of the speed with which they are able to complete transactions, the report said. As such, it might be important for retailers in particular to look at ways to incentivize the use of these platforms in brick-and-mortar stores as well.

People know plenty, but are still unsure
It seems as though people of all ages know about the companies behind mobile payment platforms that are now available, but they may feel as though they haven’t been given much reason to adopt them in their everyday lives, the report said. Those who are still a little wary of using them generally said that they might be inspired to at least try them if they were given some sort of incentive for doing so, at least at first.

Further, many who spoke of their hesitance to adopt specifically cited concerns about the ways in which these platforms protect transaction data, as well as a perceived lack of benefits that comes with adoption in the first place, the report said. However, that may only serve to highlight the lack of understanding many consumers have about the benefits of mobile transactions, because they are actually far more secure – and in many cases more convenient as well – than traditional credit or debit card purchases.

The more retailers can do to highlight to consumers the benefits that these platforms can provide, and dispel any misconceptions they may still have about them, the better off both businesses and individuals are likely to be as the industry moves toward widespread adoption.

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