Digital is the most disruptive force that the payments industry has seen in decades. It is unleashing profound changes and innovation – from the development of digital payment instruments to the emergence of next-generation providers –according to North America Consumer Digital Payments Survey by Accenture.
Convenient, personal and on demand, digital influences consumers to want friction-free payments that mesh with their daily lives. As the digital payments evolution continues, payment providers can extend the payments value proposition, and with it, their relationships with consumers.
Leaders will emphasize the customer experience as much as – if not more than – pure payments transactions. As part of a multi-year survey, Accenture surveyed 4,000 consumers in North America to track trends in consumer attitudes toward making payments today and how they expect to pay in 2020. Consumers are starting to look beyond payments transactions when choosing payments providers. They want payments experiences as individual as they are.
Mobile payments have been in the digital payments spotlight, spurred by the release of
Apple Pay in the United States in October 2014.
The majority of consumers (52 percent) report that they are “extremely aware” of mobile payments – up 9 percentage points since last year. Despite this awareness, just 18 percent of North American consumers make mobile payments regularly; 17 percent did last year.
High-income respondents (38 percent) and Millennials (23 percent) are most likely to pay this way. Survey results reveal that 19 percent of US consumers use their mobile phones regularly at merchant locations to make payments. Thirteen percent of these consumers say that they use Apple Pay regularly to make purchases at merchant locations.
Accenture analysis of these results shows that, on a usage basis, Apple Pay accounts for 68 percent of in-store mobile phone payments in the United States after less than a year on the market. These findings align with Apple Inc.’s first quarter fiscal year 2015 earnings call report that $2 of every $3 in contactless payments are made with Apple Pay.
This strong initial take up signals the power of the world’s No.1 brand. It also shows the appeal of technology that is designed to make life easier while being easy to use. There has been a slight but notable shift in usage patterns for consumers who do pay with smartphones. They still typically use them most often for quick service food/drink, grocery and convenience store purchases.
Yet use of mobile payments for such simple transactions is creeping down as use for service-oriented payment occasions like taxi services and household bills is growing. Consumers (67 percent) continue to prefer traditional card providers for mobile payments over all other providers.
In such a fluid environment, there is room for all players to increase mindshare. In addition to developing their own payment apps, industry stakeholders can offer strong post-transaction customer experiences that are commonplace today with plastic cards. For example, mobile payments users are interested in assurances that fraud would be covered, being contacted when there is suspicious activity on an account, and receiving immediate notification when a payment has been initiated and executed among other services.