How we pay in the USA: Mobile payments

We take a quick look at how and where people pay around the world and with what. This week, we look at the recent data on mobile payments in the US.

Before we delve into any specific usage figures, it is important to highlight not only the ubiquity of mobiles and the connection to the world they provide, but also the corollary of such a bridge to the wider world: fear of losing it.

According to a recent study of 1,500 adults, a third (32%) of respondents would hate losing their mobile; not particularly a staggering number, but context is everything since just 19% of respondents would be equally upset if they had lost their wedding ring. Also, perhaps it would be best to hold off giving your prised possessions to relatives as only 18% would be upset if they lost the heirloom.

Now on to the data.


Don’t tell your boss!

The survey, conducted by Chase, also discovered that three-in-four say mobile tools help them manage their lives and stay organized. Financial tools in particular as over half (51%) admitted to checking their mobile banking app whilst at work! For the more cautious employees, smoking or coffee breaks are the times to check in on finances (35%).

But it isn’t just the mundanity of work that drives people to their phones as three-out-of-ten people (31%) look at their finances in-between meals at a restaraunt!


Mobile banking and payments up from 2015

Many more consumers are using technology to bank more easily than last year. The viewing of account balances has increased by 21%. Twenty per cent more people are using mobiles to pay their bills, and that’s an area particularly bound to grow as social payment companies like Lendstar and Circle enter the fray. Transferring money is up by 8% on mobile and 35% more online. In fact, online is seeing big increases across the field as the amount of people paying bills online has increased by 37%. ATM transactions are up by 17%.


Millennials, Baby boomers and Gen X

According to the survey, 93% of millennials view their account balances on mobile, marking an 18% increase from last year. A quarter more transfer money using mobile (91%) and 85% pay bills using mobile, marking a 20% increase. Eight-out-of-ten GenXers use mobile to transfer money (22% increase) whilst two-thirds of Baby Boomers do the same (17% increase).



Leaving wallets behind

Nearly half of respondents said they would leave their wallet at home if a digital wallet would do the trick. Just under half (48%) said they prefer to pay using their phone vs. credit card or cash, whilst 46% plan to make payments with mobile phones more in the next five years. Four-out-of-ten people actually lost or forgot their debit or credit card when they needed it most.


P2P mobile payments

These figures show the mobile payments industry is stabilising after the initial disappointment of Apple Pay, suggesting it was more a question of patience than some inherent dislike or flaw in the mobile payments idea.

The mobile payments market is now moving towards catering to a very important demand of consumers: real-time payments. Faster payments is mentioned when consumers are asked what could improve their payments experience and companies like Wells Fargo are responding. Company has said today it will soon make real-time person-to-person (P2P) transactions available to its more than 17 million mobile customers in the United States. From August 1, Wells Fargo’s service will allow its customers to send funds in real-time at no cost to any customer of a bank that participates in the real-time service, which operates on Early Warning’s clearXchange network. Wells Fargo customers can already receive real-time payments at no cost from customers at any bank participating in the network.


Sticking on the subject of mobile and online payment tools, have you taken our latest quiz on e-commerce payments trivia?

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