Survey: Nine in 10 consumers use digital wallets

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Survey: Nine in 10 consumers use digital wallets

By Dan Berthiaume - 08/21/2020

Digital wallet usage and online shopping are both surging across the globe.

According to the “2020 Multinational BrandedPay” report from global branded payments provider Blackhawk Network, 88% of consumers surveyed in eight countries including the U.S. use a digital wallet of some kind. In the U.S. before the pandemic hit, less than 38% of Americans surveyed said they were using digital wallets to make purchases more or as often as the year before. As the economy began to reopen, that number has jumped to 55%. 

However, most surveyed consumers who aren't currently using a digital wallet aren't interested in starting. Across the eight markets surveyed, among respondents who don't use a digital wallet, only 29% show any interest, with 6% saying they are very interested. When paying online or in-store, security (94%), safety (94%), reliability (93%), ease-of-use (93%) and no fees (93%) are the most important factors considered by all respondents. 

More than half (53%) of all respondents say they are shopping more frequently online than they do in-store, and regularly shop from mobile devices. Four in 10 respondents are using their mobile phones and/or a mobile app to shop online. Compared to 2019, 39% of respondents have made more online purchases in 2020, with 27% making more in-store purchases. Fewer than two in 10 respondents have cut down on either type of purchase.

Six in 10 (61%) respondents currently make purchases within retailer apps. In the U.S., before the pandemic, 21% of U.S. consumers surveyed were making purchases in retailer apps more often than the previous year. After the first phase of the COVID crisis, nearly half of Americans surveyed are now doing so more often, and the number of Americans surveyed who had never used a retailer's app fell from 32% to just 13%.

Other interesting findings include:
•    More than half (52%) of all respondents have purchased or received a digital gift card. 
•    While more than half (55%) of U.S. respondents feel safe shopping at physical retail locations, 44% report being unlikely to return to their normal shopping behavior even as stores start to reopen.
•    In the U.S., 78% of respondents expect permanent changes to shopping experiences as a result of COVID-19. The sentiment is similar in the U.K. with 75% of consumers expecting permanent change.
•    In both the U.S. and the U.K., three in five respondents say that masks, gloves and other safety measures make them more likely to shop online than in-store.
•    Nearly 70% of U.S. respondents are now more likely to shop online with retailers that offer curbside pick-up options.

Blackhawk Network surveyed 12,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and Brazil.