Credit Cards Prove Biggest Winner In Stores Black Friday

December 2, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

While mobile devices were a huge part of the online shopping spend, the news wasn’t so good for mobile payments used in stores.

Earlier reports that suggested that those stores that couldn’t handle a mobile payments option this holiday shopping season weren’t in for much trouble at all proved accurate, as this year, in store mobile payments weren’t a very big part of things at all, especially against credit cards.

Credit cards proved the clear winner, said payment processor Cayan, as they landed nearly 90 percent of in store payments. Mobile payments systems, like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, only accounted for 0.6 percent of the total on Black Friday.

While that may seem like a disaster, one fact is worth remembering here: last year, mobile payments were 0.3 percent of the total. Yes, it’s double what it was this time last year, and that’s a trend most anyone can get behind.

There are many great ways that mobile payments can improve their standing; offering better incentives, better reach—these systems need to work with the stores where people actually shop—and maybe just a few less options in the market for customers to try and puzzle the differences between.

With smartphone makers, operating system makers, and individual stores all taking a run at the mobile payments pie, it’s not surprising to see consumers instead stick to the familiar.

Some here think that mobile payments could ultimately take decades to take off at this rate—a report from Fitch Ratings suggested as much—but that’s likely hyperbole. Let’s look at the numbers and see why; first, we all know that Apple Pay is just two years old now.

In the first year, it and other technologies accounted for around 0.3 percent of the total by current numbers. This year it doubled to 0.6 percent. If the technology can keep improving, and more businesses can actually put it in play, then there’s every possibility that clear upward trend will keep right on going.

After all, if it has similar performance next year, it becomes 1.2 percent of the total. For a day as big as Black Friday, that means millions in pocket.

Mobile payments have already come a very long way in a very short time. To be down on them now for not generating huge market share is like being mad at a two year old for not being a master cellist.

It may be a while before mobile payments are a major part of the in-store picture, but with what’s already been done, we may well see those levels before too much longer.