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02/11/2022

Survey: Mobile payments prove popular with younger consumers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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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.