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Study: The new state of the mobile payments industry

September 30, 2013

Consumers may not be ready to purchase the majority of their products and services from their smartphones - but businesses are quickly preparing for the day when they will.

Consumers may not be ready to purchase the majority of their products and services from their smartphones – but businesses are quickly preparing for the day when they will. 

Smartphone use is nearly ubiquitous among American shoppers: More than 90 percent of consumers currently use the devices, compared to the 66 percent who reported doing so during 2012, according to the 2014 Mobile Payments State of the Industry Report, published by Mobile Payments Today. Additionally, 93 percent of respondents noted that they’ve used their smartphones to access the internet, up from the 65 percent who did so during 2012.

That’s led to a lot more people using their phones to shop through retail offerings. Three out of every five smartphone users has used their device to shop and engage with mobile credit card processing terminals, according to the report, up significantly from the 41 percent who had reported doing so during last year. 

The study also identified that many consumers are using their smartphones even at store locations: one out of every four respondents had paid for a product at a brick-and-mortar retailer by using their mobile phone, and an additional 18 percent had scanned a QR code from their phone while at the point of sale. James Wester, the founding editor of Mobile Payments Today, noted that he believes mobile payments will be adopted by the vast majority of shoppers sometime within the next five years. 

However, a number of businesses are already planning for a future where customers will use their phones to make a majority of their retail purchases. Sephora and Avon, for example, recently began allowing consumers to browse through their products on Catalog Spree, a digital mall offered as a mobile application. The app lets shoppers browse through items and can also direct consumers toward credit card mobile processing terminals. 

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