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Survey: College students wary of mobile payments


Lenexa, Kan. – Four-in-10 (42%) college students around the country would "probably not" or "definitely not" make more mobile payments if they were widely available. A survey sponsored by Balance Innovations showed that another 42% reported they would use their mobile phone "somewhat more, depending on the retailer or purchase," and only 16% of those surveyed said they absolutely would use mobile payments "all the time."

Additional insights from the survey include:

• Men are significantly more likely to fully switch to mobile payments once they become widely available, with 21% saying they would absolutely use them all the time compared to only 12% of women.

• Students in career-oriented majors, such as accounting or business administration, are more likely to embrace mobile payments than those in academically oriented tracks, such as history or English.

• At 18%, students in graduate programs are the most likely college students to say they would use their smartphones for in-store payments all the time, if available.

• Students living on either coast are more likely to gravitate toward mobile payments at 18% (West Coast) and 17% (East Coast). Only 13% of students in colleges located in the Midwest said they would use their mobile phone to pay for purchases.

The survey, conducted by 210 Analytics LLC polled a nationwide sample of 2,503 college students April 8-13, 2014.

"Because they are front-runners of technology and avid smartphone users, we anticipated higher interest in the use of mobile payments among these 18- to 24-year-olds," said Steve Rempel, president and CEO at Balance Innovations. "But this is a reminder that it's the consumer, not the retailer, who ultimately drives the rise and fall of payment technologies, as well as the pace of adoption. The payments industry needs to keep a finger on the pulse of the shopper to meet their technology preferences."

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