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Millennials seen as key to mobile payments

April 14, 2016

Over the last several years, many experts have repeatedly made predictions that consumers would soon begin adopting mobile payment platforms en masse.

Over the last several years, many experts have repeatedly made predictions that consumers would soon begin adopting mobile payment platforms en masse. That has largely failed to happen until recently, as the widespread availability of both devices capable of making these purchases and merchants that can actually accept them is still in something like its nascent stages. But the future for mobile payments has never been brighter, and a lot of industry analysts believe that the secret to getting these platforms more broadly accepted is to get young people involved.

While a growing number of retailers large and small have begun accepting mobile purchases, adoption rates aren’t doing as well as many might have expected by this point, according to a report from Payment Week. However, it’s believed that any future efforts to promote these platforms would likely do well to focus largely on the youngest generation of adults. Nationwide, there are more than 80 million of these millennials, and there’s plenty of data to suggest that when it comes to technology, a large portion of them are relatively eager early adopters.

Could young people soon drive the mobile payment revolution forward?Could young people soon drive the mobile payment revolution forward?

Why is that important?
Creating a large, foundational base of users – potentially in the tens of millions – in a relatively short period of time could be a major boon for the mobile payments industry because of the reciprocal nature of these platforms, the report said. More users will encourage a growing number of businesses to adopt the platforms themselves. Meanwhile, more businesses openly advertising that they accept these types of payments will likewise probably engender more adoption not just from millennials, but from older generations as well.

However, it’s important to focus on millennials not only because they tend to be more interested in emerging technology, but also because they have a growing amount of discretionary income overall, the report said. Some estimates show that they could be willing to spend as much as $600 million via mobile platforms.

Getting them involved
On the other hand, it might not be easy to simply get everyone on board just because it’s a new technology, the report said. Many industry experts believe that there may be some incentives that are needed to get everyone more interested in using these platforms on a regular basis for the first time, but that once users see how convenient and secure mobile purchases are, they will be eager to use them in their daily lives, even without the incentives.

To that end, the more businesses of any size can do on their own end to adopt and encourage use of mobile payment platforms, the better off they’re likely to be. Recent data suggests that a majority of younger small business owners believe that widespread adoption of mobile purchasing is on the horizon. As such, it may be vital to a company’s bottom line that they get out in front of this trend so that they too can show they’re ready.

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