Study: Mobile Pay Adoption Remains Low, but Incentives Motivate

While just 25 percent of U.S. consumers with an eligible smartphone are using mobile payments, according to a new survey conducted by Auriemma Consulting Group, incentives provided by merchants and financial institutions can help drive growth in this channel. Customers offered incentives were about 50 percent more likely to use mobile payments at the retail point of sale.

Of consumers using mobile payments, nearly one-third say they were offered an incentive to do so, and 86 percent of those offered an incentive claimed it by paying at the point of sale or in their app. Banks are offering incentives less often, according to the study, and merchant-funded offers now account for the largest share of incentives offered.

“Incentives can give consumers the push they need to use mobile pay,” said Auriemma’s Jaclyn Holmes. “Their greatest impact will be on consumers on the cusp of using the method, but who need an additional nudge.”

The survey also addressed financial institutions’ concerns about cards’ status in customers’ digital wallets. It showed that two-thirds of mobile payments users most frequently choose the card they use most often use overall. Mobile pay users are a “highly covetable demographic,” Auriemma said, consisting mostly of employed, affluent and college-educated consumers.