Who’s Using Digital Wallets?

July 25, 2014

ThriveAnalytics-Age-Gender-Distribution-Digital-Wallet-Users-July2014While more than 8 in 10 US adult smartphone users are aware of digital wallets, only about one-third have used one, according to a new study [download page] from Thrive Analytics. Results from the survey indicate that roughly 8 in 10 digital wallet users are between the ages of 18 and 43, and that 57% are male. Mobile payment users tend to be more evenly split by gender, though, according to a recent Nielsen study: 40% of mobile wallet users responding to the survey said they use mobile methods as their primary mode of payment, with females constituting 53% of mobile payment users. As with the Thrive Analytics study, mobile payment users in the Nielsen study tended to be younger, with 55% between the ages of 18-34 and another 35% aged 35-54.

Of note, the Nielsen study finds mobile payment users to hail from various income levels, with 32% making less than $50,000 and 29% more than $100,000.

While the Nielsen study looked specifically at mobile payments, the Thrive Analytics research took a broader view of digital wallets, nevertheless finding that mobile phones (53%) and tablets (7%) are the most common devices used to access digital wallets. That was particularly the case for the 30-43 bracket, while digital wallet users aged 54 and older most commonly use laptops. The research also notes that lower-priced transactions are typically performed via mobile phone, while bigger-ticket items tend to be purchased on laptops.

Among those not using digital wallets, security concerns (46%) are most prevalent, with others finding it easier to pay with traditional methods (37%) and many saying they’ve never really thought about it (32%). The 54+ group was significantly more likely than others to simply not see the benefit from using mobile payments.

Returning to the Nielsen study, the results suggest that 45% of smartphone payment users are paying for goods and services at a store by presenting a barcode (or QR code) on their screen for the cashier to scan, while 37% pay for goods and services in-store by tapping their device or payment reader using NFC, such as Google Wallet. Both methods are far more prevalent among smartphone than tablet payment users.

About the Data: Thrive Analytics’ online survey was fielded June 2014, through its Connected Experience PanelTM. Respondents were screened for smartphones and had to be at least 18 years of age. Respondents that answered all questions totaled 2,038. Panels are not guaranteed to be representative of the population. Unless otherwise noted, statistical data is intended to be used for descriptive and not inferential purposes.

The insights from Nielsen’s Mobile Wallet Report were gathered from a general population sample 18+ years and consisted of 3,784 respondents identified through Nielsen’s Mobile Insights syndicated study who have used their smartphone or tablet for mobile shopping, paying or banking in the past 30 days.

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