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Thursday 20 June 2019


Millennials prefer phones to wallets

Written by Hannah McGrath

More than three quarters of millennials would prefer to leave their wallet rather than their mobile phone when leaving the house, suggesting rapidly changing attitudes to payment methods amongst younger generations.

In a survey of 200 UK consumers conducted by Compass Plus, a payment software provider, millennials were given the choice between leaving the house with their mobile phone or their wallet, with 77 per cent opting for their phone.

This is compared to just 30 per cent of those aged 46 and over who chose to take their phone out with them instead of their wallet.

Projecting into the future, 27 per cent of millennials said they expected to use mobile as their primary payment method in 10 years’ time.

This represents a significant leap in the anticipated adoption of mobile payments technology compared to responses to the same survey in 2016, when just six per cent said they expected to be using it as their main payment method within ten years.

However, among the over 30s, just 10 per cent said they were expecting a mobile-first future, suggesting a tailing off of enthusiasm for mobile payments among older age groups.

However, despite the growing popularity of mobile as a payment method, it only ranked second in a survey of all age groups forecasting how they would pay for goods in the future, with 54 per cent predicting that multiple methods of payment would still be in use in ten years’ time.

Among these methods, 18 per cent believed mobile would be the front runner in the league for most commonly used payment methods, followed by contactless (15 per cent) and debit card (seven per cent), with cash on two per cent, along with credit card and online payment methods such as PayPal on two per cent respectively.

There survey also revealed concerns around the security of mobile payments compared to other methods, with 17 per cent of those asked saying it was the least secure way to pay, and no one in the over 46 age group trusting it to be the most secure method, indicating it may be an uphill struggle for retailers to secure widespread adoption across older generations.

Commenting on the findings that millenials would rather leave their wallet at home in favour of their mobile phone, Maria Nottingham, executive vice president at Compass Plus said it was no surprise that younger people are anticipating that mobile will prove to be the most popular single payments channel within a decade.

“However, with over half of respondents stating that they will be still be using multiple methods to pay in the future, mobile still has plenty of consumers to win over if it is to become the go-to way to pay,”she added.

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