RootMetrics’ Look at Mobile Payments, the Mobile Consumer Life

November 29, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

The mobile consumer—whether using mobile payments or not—represents an unusual market to address, with plenty of opportunity afoot and particular challenges to address. The folks at RootMetrics sent out a copy of their latest report which examines this market, and shows off both opportunity and challenge alike.

With 45 percent of consumers planning to use their mobile devices for shopping—that number actually hits 52 percent among the millennial market—it’s clear that mobile shopping is a big deal. However, dedicated mobile payments systems aren’t exactly the weapon of choice when it comes to paying for that shopping.

However, it’s the millennials that buck the trend. While an average of 37 percent of consumers don’t think that mobile payments apps are as convenient as cash or a credit card, 16 percent of millennial shoppers will actually stay away from stores that don’t offer mobile payments options. The general consensus, meanwhile, says that 79 percnet of consumers won’t turn away from a retailer just because there are no mobile payments options available.

For most others, the standard bugaboo seems to be in place. Thirty-six percent of consumers—just shy of the number stepping in on convenience—believe that their data wouldn’t be secure on a mobile payments app, and this in spite of numerous advances in the field.

Even ease of use proved to be a problem, with 44 percent of baby boomers calling mobile payments comparatively inconvenient, and even millennials agreed in 36 percent of cases, a point which should leave mobile payments program suppliers deeply concerned.

It’s important to note here that “mobile payments” includes several different providers—even the credit card can be considered a mobile payments system—so don’t look for the whole field to die. It will, however, likely will never be able to beat the convenience of pulling folded paper from a wallet and handing it to someone, so a win on convenience is largely impossible. However, a win on safety could be had, especially if a mobile payments company were to provide a kind of Lifelock-style service complete with insurance protection. Emphasizing rewards programs wouldn’t be bad either; cash may be convenient, but mobile payments mean rewards.

Only time will tell how the industry reacts to this study, but the RootMetrics study has certainly provided food for thought.