Majority of US Smartphone Owners Say They’ve Used A Mobile Payment Service. For What?

YouGov-Smartphone-Owners-Mobile-Payment-Services-May2015Some 91% of US adult smartphone owners have heard of a mobile payment service such as PayPal (85%), Google Wallet (51%) and Apple Pay (45%), and of those almost 6 in 10 currently use at least one, according to recent survey results from YouGov. While estimates of mobile payment services adoption vary quite markedly from one survey to the next, the YouGov research offers some insights as to how these services are being used.

Asked for which reasons they had used a mobile payment service, respondents who currently use one noted these as the top 5:

  • To make a purchase online (50% of users; 27% of smartphone owners overall);
  • To pay or send money to a business/store for a product or service (39% of users; 21% of smartphone owners);
  • To send money to a friend or family member (37% of users; 20% of smartphone owners);
  • To transfer money between their own accounts (33% of users; 18% of smartphone owners); and
  • To receive money from a friend or family member (28% of users; 15% of smartphone owners).

There were some notable disparities when sorting the results by demographic group. For example, among mobile payment service users, men were more likely than women to send money to a friend or family member (41% vs. 34%), while women were more apt to make a purchase online (55% vs. 46%). And while 35-54-year-olds were less likely than 18-34-year-olds to report being mobile payment users, those who are were more apt to say they had used one to make a purchase in a physical store (23% vs. 15%).

Overall, slightly fewer than 1 in 10 (9% of) adult smartphone owners said they have used a mobile payment service to make an in-store purchase, with this more common among men (12%) than women (6%) and among Hispanics (13%) than White (8%) or Black (9%) respondents.

Of the few making an in-store purchase using a mobile payment service, the most common types of purchases were clothing (46%), on-the-go food such as snacks and coffee (45%), electronics such as tablets and smartphones (44%) and personal care items (37%).

Finally, among those respondents who are aware of mobile payment services but don’t currently use one, the main reasons given were: having no need for them (59%) and not trusting the internet with their money (35%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey fielded April 28-29, 2015 among 1,062 adults. The figures were weighted and are representative of all US adults.