Payment Methods

No Wave Yet For Digital Wallets?

The rush to embrace digital wallets has been … no rush at all, really.

Reuters reported that the emergence of digital payment apps used in conjunction with smartphones, known colloquially as digital wallets, may have advanced technologically but “have yet to catch on with customers.”

That assessment comes in comments made by Gordon Smith, chief executive of consumer banking at JPMorgan Chase, at an investor conference that was held on Monday (Sept. 12). Smith was quoted as saying that, even with the emergence of payments platforms as diverse as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, the total amount of payments used via those services accounts for less than 1 percent of payments at retailers.

Indeed, said Smith, there will be an inflection point where making payments via phones, in tandem with the convenience of that option, will give rise to a “surge” of payments using those methods. But no one knows just when that tipping point will be reached. Chase Pay, launched last year, of course, takes its place among that field of digital wallet players.

Separately, data bears out Smith’s contention that there is a long row to hoe for digital wallet adoption. Gallup data from 2015 showed that only 13 percent of U.S. adults had a digital wallet enabled on their phones.

The latest stats from the PYMNTS Apple Pay Adoption tracker, a tracker on Apple Pay adoption each quarter or the since its launch, confirm Smith’s conclusions. Trial is up, which makes sense since more people have phones and are giving it a try. But usage, aka adoption, is way down at levels not seen since its launch.  As noted, also in the latest data, when queried as to why those who have not yet tried the payments platform have deigned not to take the leap, 47 percent said that they remain satisfied with current payment methods in place.  A tap and go is not different than a swipe or a dip.



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More than 63 percent of merchant service providers (MSPs) want to overhaul their core payment processing systems so they can up their value-added services (VAS) game. It’s tough, though, since many of these systems date back to the pre-digital era. In the January 2020 Optimizing Merchant Services Playbook, PYMNTS unpacks what 200 MSPs say is key to delivering the VAS agenda that is critical to their success.

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