Mobile Payments Rise in Popularity, Reaching Tipping Point in Some Countries, Global Report

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Mobile Payments

By Mark Ranta 

In the eve of the third anniversary of the launch of Apple Pay, mobile wallet adoption is on the rise globally and consumers in the U.S. and Europe are catching up with those in fast-growing economies in Asia and Latin America where mobile wallets have already become the dominant payment platform, according to benchmark data from the Global Consumer Survey:Consumer Trust and Security Perceptions published by ACI Worldwide and Aite.

The research shows that 17 percent of U.S. consumers now regularly use their smartphone to pay, up from 6 percent in 2014 when the survey was last conducted.

In Europe, Spanish consumers are the most active users of mobile wallets, with 25 percent using them regularly, followed by Italy (24%), Sweden(23%) and the U.K. (14%). In Asia, 28% of respondents from Singaporeindicated that they use mobile wallets on a regular basis; the proportion was 47% in Indonesia, 51% in Thailand, and 56% in India.

“What we are seeing is a tipping point regarding adoption, which can be attributed to consumers worldwide now almost exclusively using payment-enabled devices, as older models have cycled out, with a few exceptions.”

“Mobile wallets really started to grow in popularity after the launch of Apple Pay almost three years ago,” said Mark Ranta, head of digital banking solutions, ACI Worldwide.

Key findings:

  • Mobile wallet adoption: India tops the list of countries surveyed, with 56 percent of consumers saying they pay with a smartphone regularly, followed by Thailand (51%) and Indonesia (47%). According to the research, these markets are leap-frogging traditional card infrastructures and usage patterns and are very mobile-oriented, as most consumer’s internet connections are through a mobile device rather than a desktop or laptop.
  • Mobile wallet security: Consumer confidence regarding mobile wallet security remains high. In the U.K., 37 percent of respondents said they trust their bank to protect their personal information when paying via smartphone; in France, 40 percent; and in Holland, 28 percent.
  • “Another important factor in the U.S. is the ubiquity of mobile wallet acceptance,”continued Ranta.“With the EMV rollout behind us, most stores are NFC-enabled and the acceptance of mobile wallets is now almost guaranteed by most larger retailers and even many smaller ones.”
  • And there is, of course, China, one of the world’s fastest growing markets and trendsetters when it comes to mobile payments. The Chinese market is dominated by two players – Alipay and WeChat Pay. Both schemes use optical scanning ‘QR-code’ techniques at the point of sale instead of the plastic card industry standards like NFC (Near Field Communication). QR-code techniques have grown dramatically in popularity over the last 5 years, on the back of smart phone adoption and the ubiquitous use of social media and digital platforms. These new Chinese payments services are expected to drive new payment behaviours across Asia and globally.

“The rollout of immediate payments schemes worldwide, combined with new regulation in Europe coming into effect in early 2018, will only increase the importance of mobile payments. This will open the door for a range of new players in the payments market and we may see mobile becoming the new plastic sooner than we thought.”

Featured image via pixabay