U.S. consumers’ interest in mobile wallets has ebbed and flowed for the past seven years, dating back to May 2011 when the original Google Wallet debuted.
Consumers during that span have been faced with a growing list of mobile wallets from the third-party providers, various financial institutions, and even retailers such as Starbucks and Target, which have proprietary systems exclusive to their stores.
But more options in the U.S. haven’t necessarily led to increased mobile wallet use the past seven years. While in-app mobile payments continue to soar thanks to the likes of Amazon, the aforementioned Starbucks and Uber, to name a few, the Pays still struggle to find consistent use from consumers.
That might finally be about to change, at least according to a recent consumer survey from TSYS.
“With this study, it’s really the first time we’ve seen meaningful numbers of consumers saying they plan to use digital wallets within the next year or two,” Gavin Rosenberg, senior director of product marketing at TSYS, told Mobile Payments Today in an interview about the company’s seventh annual Consumer Payments Study.
The study, which TSYS conducted last year and polled 1,200 consumers about various payments preferences, found that “68 percent of respondents who have already loaded a payment card into a mobile wallet or are definitely or likely to do so, indicated that within two years they will make 50 percent or more of their in-store purchases using a digital wallet.”
Of course, there is a difference between intent and actual use, and Rosenberg believes the mobile wallet’s user experience will ultimately help determine whether increased adoption will be of the hockey stick-growth variety, or a slow, steady rise in the next couple of years.
“If you can remove that friction from the experience and make something easy for people, they will adopt it,” Rosenberg said.
Not surprisingly, younger consumers are expected to help drive that mobile wallet growth in the future, according to the study.