Survey: Mobile payments prove popular with younger consumers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
The younger the shopper, the more likely they are to use mobile payments.

Millennial and Gen Z consumers are much more likely than their older peers to use mobile payment solutions.

According to a recent survey of over 2,200 U.S. adults from Morning Consult, currently, 42% of respondents have used mobile wallet payments. This includes 9% who have used mobile wallet payments in-store, 17% online, and 13% both in-store and online.

However, the general figures represent a wide variance in mobile wallet usage by consumers of different generations. For example, only 21% of baby boomers (4% in-store, 13% online, 4% both) and 36% of Gen Xers (7% in-store, 18% online, 11% both) have used mobile wallets. These percentages rise much higher among millennials (53% - 13% in-store, 21% online, 20% both) and Gen Zers (62% - 16% in-store, 18% online, 28% both).

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said flexible payment options like BNPL are important in choosing where they shop. That number rises to 41% for those shopping online, where Morning Consult analysis indicates most customers are introduced to BNPL, and to 51% for millennials, the generation most likely to use these services. 

The survey also indicates that mobile wallet users will be the first movers toward buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments:

  • Consumers who use mobile wallets are more than twice as likely as non-users to say flexible payment options like BNPL are important to them when choosing where to shop (54% vs. 26%). 
  • Mobile wallet users are also more likely than non-users to say loyalty programs are important differentiators in where to shop (71% vs. 66%).

In addition, the survey measured the share of respondents who had engaged in a variety of digital shopping/payment activities in the past six months:

  • Used a service such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or Shop Pay to make a payment: 42%.
  • Sent a payment directly through a social media platform: 23%.
  • Used a BNPL service to finance a purchase and repay it in installments: 23%.
  • Bought something within a game or virtual reality: 19%.
  • Paid for something using a wearable device: 12%.
  • Shopped at a “just walk out store” where there’s no need for a checkout process: 11%.
  • Paid for something using your car: 10%.

Meanwhile, a recent survey from mobile data capture solutions provider Anyline

shows that the vast majority of shoppers have a mobile device that is equipped with a digital camera, ready and available as they walk through the aisles. In fact, 79% of respondents said they shop with their phone in hand, within reach or easily accessible. When asked what they use apps for while in a store, the three most selected activities were to compare prices (40%), compare brands (25%), and build or update a shopping list (22%).

A recent survey from omnichannel store operations platform Newstore also indicates that in-store mobile technology is one leading-edge feature of the physical store that a growing number of consumers are seeking. More than half (54%) of respondents say associates should have a mobile device, while 39% want to shop and checkout in-store via mobile device. One-third (33%) say store associates should be able check them out anywhere in-store with a mobile device.