More Than a Quarter of US Consumers Use More Than One Mobile Wallet

mobile payment

Different mobile wallets may serve distinct purposes for the small but significant share of consumers who rely on them.

mobile wallets

The majority of mobile wallet users stick with the same carrier. However, as noted in proprietary research prepared for the PYMNTS collaboration with ACI Worldwide, “Digital Bill Payments: Mobile Wallets Gain Popularity, But Hurdles Remain,” more than 40% switched carriers within the 12 months previous to being surveyed. Within that sizable minority, 26% started using a new mobile wallet during that time while still using the previous one.

Across generations, digital-native Gen Z has the most consumers straddling multiple mobile wallets, with 42% of the demographic doing so. This practice goes down by preceding generation, tapering to an 8% low among baby boomers and seniors. Drilling down a bit, additional proprietary research for the same report notes drivers behind using a new wallet while still sticking with the previous one. For 48% of consumers surveyed, ease of use ranked as an important factor — or the most important — in deciding to utilize multiple mobile wallet clients.

mobile wallet switching

Ease-of-use as top factor ranked 8 percentage points higher than the second-most cited reason, time saving, and nearly 20 percentage points ahead of financial incentive-driven low cost. But it takes effort to go through the multi-step process of signing up for a new mobile wallet, implying that a motivator may be driving multiple wallet use.

One reason may lie in mobile wallets’ design in being a frictionless form of payment and so how they interact with merchants and others can make a big difference in terms of user experience. Given this, one user ability that may fall under the ease of use factor category is paying merchants who may or may not accept a consumer’s main mobile wallet platform. Another ability driving ease of use as a top choice could be in peer-to-peer payments. With trying to split a restaurant check within a group using competing platforms still a frustration for many, it may be easier to agree on a common carrier to pay.

Further data will illustrate whether consumers with multiple mobile wallets use them interchangeably or keep their use strictly contained to a few separate features. Whatever the case, or the reasons driving consumers toward this practice, it seems like for consumers variety is the spice of life — and mobile wallet options.