Mobile Payments to See Strong Growth During US Holiday Shopping Season

Survey research indicates that mobile payments are set to be an important part of this year's holiday shopping season in

Thanksgiving arrives next Thursday, and with it arrives the official start of the holiday shopping season in the US. Despite Black Friday taking place the day after Thanksgiving, anticipation for the massive shopping day is in the air, with retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy already promoting their coming deals on items such as iPhones, laptops and TVs.

Due to the holiday shopping buildup, the fourth quarter is the most profitable for nearly every retailer, with many getting by at break-even or small losses for the rest of the year. As such, there is no shortage of competition among both online and brick and mortar retailers for consumer shopping dollars, with many firms using unique activities to draw shoppers their way.

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Unlike in previous years, mobile payments are expected to have a major effect on US shopping habits and could provide a boost to physical stores compared to their online brethren. With the launch of Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and other mobile payment solutions from banks, growth in mobile is expected to be significant this holiday season.

According to a survey from research firm Research Now in conjunction with security solutions firm INSIDE Secure on the mobile payment sector, 17% of US respondents who didn’t make a mobile payment in last year’s holiday shopping season expect to make one now.

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Overall, the data suggests that retailers have an opportunity to connect with shoppers on their mobile devices this year.  Potential examples are in-store incentives using beacon technology to shoppers as well as promoting the use of a firm’s mobile app.

iOS vs Android

Not surprisingly, the data showed a preference of mobile payments from younger shoppers, with people between the ages of 18-44 nearly twice as likely to transact a mobile payment than those older than shoppers aged 45 or older. Also, the data showed iOS users to be more likely to make a mobile payment than Android users by a 45% to 26% margin. This figure could be the result of fragmentation in the Android market, of which a larger percentage of phones aren’t enabled for NFC based mobile payments.

Among other interesting data points, the Research Now survey showed that customers would rather use a mobile app from a bank than an alternative provider like Apple Pay. The report stated that 51% of mobile payment shoppers prefer an app from their bank. The data is consistent with opinion from the security experts panel at Web Summit earlier this month where the panelists believed that banks shouldn’t be discounted as important players even with apps arriving from mobile providers.

According to the data, the preference for banks as well as the main friction that is slowing mobile payment adoption are security concerns. The survey showed that 70% of respondents that weren’t planning on making a mobile payment cited fraud and security as the reason.

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