In US, Gen Z Leads in Use, Trust of Mobile Payment Systems – GfK Study

Mobile devices account for only 3% of all US transactions – but 7% among Gen Z

NEW YORK--()--The Baby Boomers may never quite catch on – but mobile payments have won fans among the young US consumers coveted by so many brands.

A new GfK study shows that, in the US, Generation Z (ages 18 to 24) is twice as likely to make a mobile payment as the total population; smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices account for just 3% of all transactions in the US – but 7% among Gen Z.

More than half (53%) of Gen Z say they have made a mobile payment while using the Internet in the past 6 months; that is almost four times the rate (14%) for Baby Boomers (ages 50 to 68). Gen Y (ages 25 to 34) came in at 37%, and Gen X (35 to 49) at 27%.

About one third (31%) of Gen Z consumers agree that “making payments with a mobile device is more secure than other methods”; this is double the general population level (16%), and five times the Baby Boomer score. (See Table 1.)

The new research also shows that roughly half (53%) of Gen Z are looking forward to paying for “more and more transactions” from mobile devices. This is twice the overall US average (27%), and higher than Gen Y (45%) and Gen X (30%).

Many consumers today do not understand the value proposition offered by mobile payments,” said Tim Spenny, Vice President on GfK’s Financial Services team. “This creates an opportunity for the industry to develop its own narrative around why people should use mobile devices to pay for their purchases – with security, speed, and ease of use top among the reasons. In 2016, we see mobile payments gaining traction through the addition of benefits such as rewards, discounts, and coupons that are integrated into phone payment systems.”

Table 1: Attitudes Toward Mobile Payments

    Total   Gen Z   Gen Y   Gen X   Boomers
“Worried about personal information … ”   52%   55%   60%   54%   51%

”Confident that ... payments are 100% secure ”

  20%   33%   36%   24%   10%
”More secure than other methods ... ”   16%   31%   28%   18%   6%

When asked if they feel that their “mobile device payments are 100% secure,” Gen Z (33%) are slightly less likely to agree than Gen Y (36%), but still much more comfortable with mobile payment security than Boomers (10%) or Gen X (24%).

The generations are surprisingly uniform in their responses when asked if they are “worried about their personal information” when making mobile payments; here, Gens Y and Z (55%, 60%) actually registered slightly higher levels of concern than Boomers (51%).

GfK conducted its 2015 FutureBuy® research in 25 countries, with roughly 1,000 respondents per country. In addition to mobile payments, the study explored consumers’ use of mobile devices to aid in shopping, as well as other emerging trends in retail and online purchasing.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

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For GfK
David Stanton, 908-875-9844
VP, MarComms

Release Summary

A new GfK study shows that, in the US, Generation Z (ages 18 to 24) is twice as likely to make a mobile payment as the total population.


For GfK
David Stanton, 908-875-9844
VP, MarComms