Mobile Payments Gain Big Traction Among Millennials

As with most technologies, younger generations appear far more willing to buy stuff using their mobile devices.

Stateside, Generation Z (ages 18 to 24) is twice as likely to make a mobile payment as the total population, according to new findings from GfK.

Among Gen Z, mobile transactions now account for 7% of all purchases -- compared to just 3% among the larger U.S. population.

Over the past six months, more than half (53%) of Gen Z say they have made a mobile payment while using the Web -- almost four times the rate (14%) for baby boomers (ages 50 to 68).

During the same time frame, 37% of Gen Y (ages 25 to 34) report making a mobile purchase, while 27% of Gen X (35 to 49) say they bought a product or service with their mobile device.

About one third (31%) of Gen Z consumers agree that “making payments with a mobile device is more securethan other methods.” This is double the general population level (16%), and five times the Baby Boomer score.

The new research also shows that roughly half (53%) of Gen Z are looking forward to paying for “more and more transactions” from mobile devices. This is twice the overall US average (27%), and higher than Gen Y (45%) and Gen X (30%).

Many consumers today do not understand the value proposition offered by mobile payments,” Tim Spenny, vice president on GfK’s Financial Services team, notes in a new report.

“This creates an opportunity for the industry to develop its own narrative around why people should use mobile devices to pay for their purchases -- with security, speed, and ease of use top among the reasons,” according to Spenny.

In 2016, Spenny and his colleagues expect mobile payments to gain traction through the addition of benefits, such as rewards, discounts and coupons that are integrated into phone payment systems.

When asked if they feel that their “mobile device payments are 100% secure,” Gen Z (33%) are slightly less likely to agree than Gen Y (36%), but still much more comfortable with mobile payment security than Boomers (10%) or Gen X (24%).

The generations are surprisingly uniform in their responses when asked if they are “worried about their personal information” when making mobile payments; here, Gens Y and Z (55%, 60%) actually registered slightly higher levels of concern than Boomers (51%).

For its findings, GfK said it surveyed about 1,000 U.S. consumers.
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