FreedomPay Fills Us in on Mobile Payments, More at the Airport

December 24, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

It might surprise some out there to know that the airport is more than just a place where you catch a flight to some destination, or your first stop upon arriving at said destination. There’s also quite a bit of shopping that takes place there as well, according to a report sent our way from FreedomPay, who filled us in about the nature of airport retail.

Mobile payments naturally figured in heavily. Debit cards were the most preferred method of making payments at 38 percent, followed up by cash at 28 percent and credit cards at 22 percent. E-payment devices figured in more heavily among the young, not surprisingly, with 22 percent of those 18-24 putting them to use, while the 55 and up crowd kicked in just four percent. That’s actually close to par for the course, so no real surprises there.

As for what travelers were looking for when they shopped, UK travelers tended to focus on restaurants, as well as drinks, both alcoholic and otherwise. Books and magazines, beauty and fragrance, and confectionary items rounded out the top five. The average amount spent was 62 pounds sterling, and Scottish people, defying centuries of stereotypes, spent more at airports—82 pounds on average—than any other region in the UK.

FreedomPay Europe managing director Tony Hammond noted “…Retailers including restaurants and coffee shops have a huge opportunity to increase their sales with the right technology and to enhance their consumer experience simply by transforming their digital payment platforms to enable hassle-free, secure and fast transactions no matter how the consumer chooses to pay.”

FreedomPay’s study has shown us all that mobile payments systems, in all their forms, are a big part of life. Sure, we’re still largely focused on the older styles of same, especially payment cards, but we’re also seeing the specifically e-payment system make a move as well. The big challenge for such vendors now is proving that there’s a reason to use these rather than just pulling out the card or the cash, and what we’ve seen so far with rewards programs in mobile payments is a hopeful development.

Still, mobile payments are making the rounds, and catching on organically, especially among the younger set. For airport shopping, though, they’re looking increasingly valuable.