Why Some People Make Mobile Payments (and Why Some Don’t)

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / feedoughPeople make mobile payments to pay bills, or they don’t use them because it’s no easier than using a card or cash.

That’s according to data from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, which released its fourth annual report on mobile banking this week.

The study’s definition of a mobile payment is a payment made on a mobile device, so while Apple Pay certainly qualifies, so would completing a purchase on Amazon on a mobile phone.

The most common use case identified in the study was paying a bill online:

  • Paid bills online through a mobile web browser or app – 19%
  • Made an online or in-app purchase (e.g., from amazon.com or bestbuy.com) – 16%
  • Paid for a product or service at a store (including at gas pumps and for restaurant meals) – 11%
  • Transferred money directly to another person’s bank or other financial account within the United States (e.g., PayPal account) – 10%
  • Received money from another person’s bank or other financial account (e.g., PayPal account) – 9%
  • Used an app to receive loyalty or reward points – 9%
  • Paid for parking, a taxi, or public transit using an app – 5%
  • Made a payment using a text message (including charitable donation by text message) – 3%
  • Send a remittance (used to send money to relatives or friends living outside the U.S through WesternUnion, USPS SureMoney, etc.) – 3%

And for those who did not use mobile payments in 2014, here are the reasons why:

  • 75% – It’s easier to pay with cash or a credit/debit card
  • 59% – I don’t see any benefit from using mobile payments
  • 59% – I’m concerned about the security of mobile payments
  • 41% – I don’t trust the technology
  • 37% – I don’t have the necessary feature on my phone
  • 31% – I don’t really understand all the different mobile payment options
  • 31% – It’s difcult or time consuming to set up or use mobile payments
  • 23% – I don’t need to make any payments or someone else pays the bills
  • 23% – The places I shop don’t accept mobile payments

Among 18- to 29-year-olds, the percentage of mobile payments users in 2014 was 34%, compared with just 7% of those 60 and older. Last year those numbers were 28% and 7%, respectively. Meanwhile, 31% of those age 30 to 44 used mobile payments in 2014, compared with 21% the year prior. For 45- to 59 year-olds, 16% used mobile payments in 2014 vs. 13% the year before.

Here is the study’s data on mobile payment usage by race:

  • White, non-Hispanic – 17% (vs. 12% in 2013)
  • Black, non-Hispanic – 34% (vs. 34% in 2013)
  • Other, non-Hispanic – 24% (vs. 16% in 2013)
  • Hispanic – 32% (vs. 26% in 2013)
  • 2 races, non-Hispanic – 23% (vs. 31% in 2013)
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2 thoughts on “Why Some People Make Mobile Payments (and Why Some Don’t)

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