Commentary

23% of Online Payments Globally Come via Mobile

While Apple Pay gets a lot of the mobile payments headlines these days, the activity of using a phone to pay online marches on across the globe.

Worldwide payments over mobile devices now account for almost a quarter (23%) of total online payments, up from just one in five a year ago, based on a new study.

Europe takes the top spot and Asia had the largest growth, according to the mobile payment index by Adyen, which comprises data from Web-based transactions from more than 3,500 businesses.

While mobile payments in Asia grew by 58%, North America remained steady. As a percentage of total online payments, about a quarter (24%) of online sales in Europe are made via mobile devices compared to 17% in both North America and Asia.

But looking at mobile payments by region shows an interesting picture in the wide range of adoption activities. For example, the U.K. leads the pack and Latin America trails. By a lot.

  • 41% -- UK
  • 26% -- Netherlands
  • 26% -- Spain
  • 18% -- France
  • 17% -- North America
  • 16% -- Germany
  • 6% -- Latin America

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Interestingly, which mobile device is used for payments differs for digital vs. physical goods.

For example, the study found that for digital goods, such as tickets, club memberships and hotel reservations, 20% use smartphones and 8% use tablets. But for physical goods, like clothing, furniture and appliances, 18% use tablets and 11% smartphones.

The average transaction for physical goods also is considerably higher than for digital goods, with the average physical goods transaction at $110 compared to $33 for digital items.

Even before Apple Pay, payments via iOS phones and tablets led those by Android 62% to 38%. Here’s the breakdown by region:

  • North America – 12% iOS, 4% Android
  • Europe – 16% iOS, 8% Android
  • Asia – 10% iOS, 8% Android
  • Latin America – 3% iOS, 2% Android

More people are getting used to using their mobile devices to pay, at least online. The physical world is next.

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