U.S. Mobile Wallet Usage Tripled Since 2014

Card-not-present merchants that are not equipped to accept mobile-wallet payments may want to finally get on board. While payments experts have been predicting a “tipping point” where mobile wallets become ubiquitous in the U.S. for many years, it has largely been an Asian phenomenon. A new report, however,  said that while Apple Pay may not be shattering adoption records, it has had a significant effect on mobile wallet adoption overall and that U.S. and European consumers are catching up to their Asian and Latin American counterparts in the use of mobile wallets, both in stores and online.

Seventeen percent of U.S. consumers regularly use their smartphones to pay, up from 6 percent in 2014, according to research from ACI Worldwide and Aite Group. Driving the surge, according to Global Consumer Survey: Consumer Trust and Security Perceptions, is the conversion to payment-enabled devices that is nearly complete as older smartphone models are cycled out and consumers buy new ones.

“What we are seeing is a tipping point regarding adoption, which can be attributed to consumers worldwide now almost exclusively using payment-enabled devices,” said Mark Ranta, head of digital banking solutions for ACI Worldwide. “The acceptance of mobile wallets is now almost guaranteed by most larger retailers and even many smaller ones.”

The report also noted the growth of QR-code based mobile payments led by Alipay and WeChat Pay in China. Adoption of these payment methods by the world’s largest consumer base will drive “new payment behaviors across Asia and globally,” the report said.

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