In the U.S., mobile payment options have expanded over the past few years. Adoption, however, has been slower on the uptake, with only modest growth even over last year. As PYMNTS’ Karen Webster recently put it this week: “Consumer adoption on mobile pay has been stuck in the mud since about March 2015.”
That said, if CES 2017 is any indication, the future of mobile payments may be led by the way technology enters the consumer’s lifestyle and who that consumer indeed is.
According to new research — namely Deloitte’s 2016 Mobile Consumer Survey — older American millennials are more likely than their younger counterparts to use mobile payments. The older set — specifically, those aged 24–35 — admit to making in-store payments via smartphone more often — at least once a week — than any other age group. Specifically, these millennials were twice as likely as the 18–24 age group and twice that of last year (13 percent in 2015 and 21 percent in 2016).
The Deloitte survey polled 2,000 American internet users between the ages of 18 and 75. The survey asked the respondents how often they use a smartphone to make in-store payments in 2016, choosing from “at least once a week,” “at least once per month” or “less frequently but at least once.” This data was compared to those same choices in the year before. The older millennials are not only twice more likely to use the technology over the younger group but are nearly three times more likely to use it over the group that was born immediately before them (those respondents aged 35–44).
Interestingly, the number of 18–24 year olds who make mobile payments on a weekly basis dropped from 13 percent to 10 percent. The number of 35–44 year olds who use the technology on a weekly bases started at 8 percent in 2015 and jumped up 6 percentage points to 14 percent last year.
As for the types of mobile payment all of these users are employing, about 40 percent say transferring money is the most common, with 39 percent saying they use mobile payments at coffee shops (31 percent mentioned this the previous year) and at fast-food restaurants (24 percent the year before). Other places where the smartphone was used for payment? Restaurants, grocery stores and retail clothing locations.
Other data coming out of the Deloitte survey included older millennials being more likely than other groups to check their phones at night, and younger millennials being most excited about obtaining the newest device when it hits the market.