More people have tapped or swiped their credit cards using mobile payment technology this year, but it still isn’t their preferred way to pay for purchases.
An annual survey of consumer attitudes toward mobile payments showed that even though these types of transactions are becoming more commonplace, consumer interest in mobile payments is dropping slightly—especially among people who actually have and use smartphones.
Last year Harris Interactive found that 27% of all survey respondents expressed interest in using mobile payments. This year, that number fell slightly to 24%. And while 44% of smartphone users were interested in mobile payment when surveyed last year, only 37% said they were interested in them this year.
Mobile payments lose their novelty
Whether or not they want to use them, people are getting more used to making mobile payments. This year 32% of people reported having used or seen mobile payments in action, compared with 25% last year. Mobile payments in this case are defined as cards being swiped by a mobile card reader that plugs into a smartphone or tablet.
Tapping to pay–using NFC technology to tap your smartphone against a receiver–was less common than mobile payments, but more people have seen or used tap-to-pay this year as well—17% in 2013 compared with 13% last year.
Young people more receptive to mobile technology
The age of respondents factored into their attitudes toward mobile payments. Generation X and so-called “Echo Boomers” – the children of Baby Boomers—are much more open to mobile payments than their parents and grandparents. The more mature demographic was the least excited about mobile payments, with only 12% of the oldest folks surveyed expressing interest. Baby Boomers were similarly disinterested, with only 16% wanting to use mobile payments. The youngest people, the kids of Baby Boomers, were the most interested at 35%. And a third of Gen X (30%) said they are interested in mobile payments.
Credit card rewards and digital wallets increase interest
Two things that increased people’s interest in mobile payments were the ability to redeem credit card rewards while using mobile payments, and the promise of digital wallets to replace their card-stuffed traditional wallets. Still, these things were more enticing to last year’s survey participants.
Although 24% of consumers said taking advantage of credit card rewards would make them more interested in mobile payments, that’s a drop from last year, when 28% felt that was a strong incentive. Likewise, 26% of respondents said the prospect of digital wallets raised their interest in mobile payments this year—but in 2012 that figure was higher at 30%.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey online in September 2013. Responses were collected from 2,577 adults.