Consumers are using their mobile wallet more, but prefer plastic

Mobile wallet - debit card payment

While shoppers may be increasingly using their phones to pay, their cards are still a preferred method.

Consumers have been using mobile wallet transactions to an increasing extent, but even among those who have been using their phones to pay, many still prefer using a debit or credit card, according to the results of a recent JD Power report.

The report was based on a survey of 3,588 retail bank customers across the United States.

The mobile wallet survey was conducted between the first quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of 2022. It determined that by September 2022 about 49 percent of consumers had used their phone to pay for a purchase within the prior three months. Comparatively, in March 2021, only about 38 percent of respondents had done the same.

Mobile wallet - Mobile phone payments

The rise in the use of these payment apps indicates that some of the barriers to adoption that had previously been standing in the way are now falling, said JD Power. Among those barriers included ease of use and worries over security.

Among the respondents, 21 percent said that they had security concerns later in the reporting period. That was a reduction when compared to the 25 percent who said the same thing earlier in the reporting period. Moreover, while 5 percent said that they found the apps difficult to use, when they were asked later in the survey period, this was a drop from 6 percent earlier in the survey period.

Consumers are also increasingly aware of mobile wallets, which is raising their inclination to use them.

The JD Power report determined that the more aware consumers were of the payment apps, the greater their likelihood of setting one up. Later in the reporting period, about 24 percent of the survey respondents said that they had heard of mobile wallets but hadn’t set one up. Earlier in the reporting period, that figure had been 37 percent.

Even with all the usage, adoption and awareness gains that have been made with mobile wallets among US consumers, there remain 49 percent who still found it easier to use their physical plastic credit or debit cards than to use their phones. This was the response in the third quarter of 2022. Interestingly, that number rose when compared to the figure early in the survey period, when 47 percent said it was easier to use their plastic cards to pay than their phones.

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