Mobile Payments Poised to be a 2019 Tech Trend

January 4, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Mobile payments were a pretty big deal in 2018, but it was easy to look at the market and wonder if, maybe, it would prove a flash in the pan. According to a new report from Ipsos Retail Performance’s director of retail intelligence, Tim Denison, that’s not something we should be concerned about. In fact, Denison projects that mobile payments will be one of 2019’s biggest tech trends.

A look at the numbers provides some insight. As of 2018, mobile wallets had been adopted by around one in four smartphone users in the United Kingdom, and they’re merely third in the overall rankings. Norway comes in second at 42 percent, and China proves dominant in the field at 47 percent. Given that Apple Pay—who many consider to have started the whole mobile payments trend, though there were other mobile payments methods in use before Apple Pay—only launched four years ago, that’s still a big uptick.

Ease-of-use is proving one of the biggest draws, and even among those who don’t already have a mobile wallet system to use, plenty are interested in getting in on the action. A recent survey found that nearly half of 18 to 24 year olds surveyed were already part of the mobile wallet trend, while just shy of another third, 32 percent, were “attracted” to the idea. Even the over-65 crowd is in on the action, with just shy of half either already using mobile wallets or actively considering it.

It’s a bit surprisingly for the 18 to 24 year olds; everything we’d heard about Generation Z so far suggested that they had a pretty deep real-world fetish. They prefer cash, they like brick-and-mortar stores, and so on. But it’s not that surprising that at least some electronics are in there; they’re used to them and probably put them to work at least occasionally.  It’s also surprising that the outer range of older folks are putting them to use too. But the convenience and increasing ease-of-use factors are likely too much to pass up, at least completely.

The sheer number of users, compounded by their broad demographics, makes it pretty clear that mobile payments will be a trend for some time to come.