Android Pay is the most popular proximity mobile payments system in the U.S., according to fresh data from Walker Sands Communications. But the high-tech space remains a very small sliver of the overall payments market.
Walker Sands, which specializes in media services for technology companies, surveyed more than 1,400 U.S. consumers and found that 36 percent reported using a mobile payment app in a store in the past year, up slightly from 34 percent in last year's study. Android Pay was the top mobile payments app, with 19 percent of respondents saying they had used Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) offering, followed by a retailer's branded mobile app (with 12 percent) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Pay (11 percent).
And precious few respondents said mobile was their preferred payment method for specific use cases. Only 1 percent of those surveyed said they prefer to use mobile to pay at the retail counter; the same percentage said they prefer to use mobile payments at a bar, restaurant or grocery store. Household bills were the most popular payment method for mobile, with 6 percent saying they like to use their phones for such transactions.
Sixty-one percent of consumers cited security concerns as the primary factor they're hesitant to use mobile payments, and 58 percent of users said privacy was a major reason. Only 14 percent of those polled said they had no hesitations about using mobile payments offerings.
Predictably, millennials were the most likely age group to report using any payment app, with 64 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds making a mobile purchase in the last year. Those younger users will be crucial if mobile payments are ever to gain real traction and become a mainstream alternative to cash and credit cards.
"For now… consumers remain hesitant to give up the payments methods they've been using for years to embrace unproven technology," according to the Walker Sands report. "Led by millennials, however, mobile payments are rising in popularity for POS and P2P payments. Because many of these younger consumers are more likely to blame retailers for the slow adoption rate, it's important for companies to accept as many payment forms as possible."
- download this Walker Sands Communications report
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