One thing is for certain – mobile payments from Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay are here to stay – but who is using the service, how eager are banks to work with mobile payments, are merchants accepting the idea, and what brand of mobile payment is faring better than the others? Most of these questions are answered by a recent study in a market research group Phoenix Marketing International that shows that although most people reported using Apple Pay, both Android Pay and Samsung Pay have an adoption rate on par with Apple and are not too far behind in capturing their own market share. The study shows that 32-percent of smartphone owners with credit cards or debit cards have loaded one of the third-party mobile Pay apps.
It is no surprise that they younger crowds are more eager to adopt mobile payments – the Millennials (ages 18-32) are at an impressive 67-percent rate, and the Generation X (ages 33-48) are up to 50-percent. These same individuals grew up using a credit or debit card to pay for anything…even a pack of gum. These numbers work out to approximately 23 million Millennial and Generation X that are embracing Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay and will push it as the next big thing. We now need to give these “apped up” users a place to shop – which does not seem a problem as banks and retailers eagerly try to enter this “ecosystem.” The study also showed those that had a Pay app on their device, 93-percent made at least one mobile purchase in a store and 81-percent made at least one in-app purchase.
Although 67-percent of those surveyed had heard of Google Wallet, it was scraped in 2014 and converted to what is now Android Pay. When it comes to signing up for the three services – 18-percent of cardholders had signed up for Apple Pay, 11-percent for Android Pay, and 12-percent for Samsung Pay, although many Samsung Pay customers have also signed up for Android Pay. About 84-percent of credit card holders have heard about the possibility of using a smartphone to make payments. Samsung’s market dollars helped them reach a 57-percent awareness with users, higher than the 49-percent of Android Pay.
Another interesting point is that even though Samsung invested into the Magnetic Secure Transmission (MTS) or LoopPay to give its customers the added convenience of paying with either MST or Near-Field Communications (NFC), it has not helped the adoption of Samsung Pay. It could be because it is exclusive to Samsung devices, and only the high-end, newer models at that. With Apple Pay, the retailer must purchase a special device to accept Apple Pay. Android Pay needs only the ‘wave-pay’ sort of terminal and Samsung Pay can be used even with older card swipe terminals, even though most of Samsung Pay’s purchases are at the NFC terminals. There are still challenges on the horizons – one of which are the banks outside the US are resisting Apple Pay, especially in China where their own banks have set up mobile payments. The industry also needs to ‘convince’ consumers to use a Pay app for making everyday purchases, and this will happen in time, just like convincing consumers to pay with a debit card for purchases. Each method is a step to a new technology and adoption takes time.