Mobile payments study kicks off 2013 research series on consumer payment, banking trends

Mercator Advisory Group has released the first of eight studies in its CustomerMonitor Survey Series 2013 Insight reports — “Mobile Payments 2013: Young Adults and Minorities Take the Lead.” Findings are based on primary research gauging consumer behavior and preferences in regard to various payment methods and banking channels.

The survey included 3,003 consumers in a representative sampling of the U.S. census demographic profile of American adults. Surveys were conducted online between May 28 and June 6.

The inaugural report analyzes the changing demographics of Web-enabled mobile users, and looks at aspects of use, interest and satisfaction with mobile devices in terms of both payment acceptance and payment transactions in-store and online.

As suggested by its title, the study revealed that young adults and minorities are at the forefront of mobile payments in terms of both use and interest.

They are also the most likely of all segments to be mobile-enabled: 75 percent of young adults; 73 percent of Asians; 70 percent of Hispanics; and 64 percent of Blacks own smartphones. This compares with an average of 55 percent smartphone penetration within U.S. adult households overall. 

“Greater mobile penetration is shifting the demographics of smartphone users,” said report author Karen Augustine, who is manager of the CustomerMonitor Survey Series at Mercator Advisory Group. “No longer are mobile apps the domain only of young adults who are avid mobile users — minorities are leading the ranks as well.

“Mobile payment use and interest is growing, but there needs to be a compelling reason to launch a payment app at checkout. Greater automation in the couponing and loyalty programs to enable consumers to get a discount with a purchase will help move the needle of consumer adoption of mobile payments.”

Highlights of this report include:

year-over-year trending of smartphone use;
use of and interest in various methods of in-store and online mobile payment and mobile payment acceptance methods;
shifting demographics of mobile users — in both smartphone and tablet use — and satisfaction with operability, functionality, and availability of mobile devices;
challenges to mobile payment adoption;
consumer confidence in security and reliability of mobile payments;
use of and preferences for passwords or other types of security codes;
preferences for launching a mobile payments app;
delivery methods for payment and fraud alerts, and consumers’ use of them;
shifts in use of and interest in e-coupons, e-receipts and merchant apps.

Mobile payments study kicks off 2013 research series on consumer payment, banking trends. 2013, Sept. 12. Retrieved from


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