Consumers not giving up on making payments using smart devices

Digital connectivity is having a big impact on our daily lives. Even in the area of payments, transformations can be seen in the way we present money for our day-to-day purchases. Digitized methods are clearly the norm, especially for those opting for mobile payment technology. Currently, there are a host of innovative payment methods available, such asPayPal, Google Wallet, Passbook and MasterCard PayPass.

Users deem such payments to be highly convenient, especially when it comes to making peer-to-peer payments. A simple scenario, such as splitting a large tab at a restaurant, is made easy with a few taps on your smartphone. And in the checkout process, embedded technologies, such as QR codes and NFC, enable the convenience without the user’s having to bother with how it happens.

Recently, Nielsen conducted a survey to gain insights into user behavior when it comes to using devices for making payments. The syndicated study involved 3,784 respondents identified on the basis that they have used handheld devices for making payments.

Here is an illustration from the survey results:

Insights from the survey included the following:

  • 40% of mobile wallet users admit that they use mobile methods as their primary mode of payment.
  • 45% of users consider QR codes, which can be scanned by the cashier during checkout, to be the ideal mobile payment method.
  • 37% of smartphone payers like to tap their device on a payment reader, thereby using NFC.
  • 29% of smartphone payers scan QR codes using the device’s camera.
  • 49% of people who use peer-to-peer payment apps use them at restaurants, bars and fast-food outlets.
  • 69% of consumers agreed that they would convert to mobile payment methods if merchants would offer discounts specific to purchases made via mobile wallet.

An interesting fact that comes out of these insights is that QR codes, which represent one of the oldest technologies used in the mobile payment market, still represent a trend among users for making payments, despite the advent of rising technologies such as NFC.

Mobile payments is still a nascent industry. But it is a rapidly growing one, with worldwide payments reaching $163 billion in 2012, a figure that was expected to jump to $235 billion by the end of 2013, according to Gartner research.