US Digital Payments Adoption Study

Early Warning Services, the network operator behind Zellehas published the results of its first Digital Payments Adoption Study.

The aim is to track consumer adoption, use, and attitudes toward digital payments, the study surveyed more than 9,000 US consumers who are aware of P2P, own smartphones and have accessed online or mobile banking.

The study found that adoption and usage of digital person-to-person (P2P) payments are high among all generations, with consumers pointing to trust in friends and family and trust in their financial institutions as the primary reasons for engaging in a digital payment.

Boomers ranked trust in financial institutions as the most important influence on engaging in a digital payment, while Millennials and Generation X ranked recommendations from friends/family/peers as their primary influence.

“Trust is at the heart of the consumer payment relationship,” said Ravi Loganathan, Head of Business Intelligence at Early Warning Services. “Our research showed that new segments of consumers engaged in a P2P payment for the first time because it was offered from their known and trusted mobile banking environment or it came recommended by friends, family, or peers.”

Study Finds Growing Use Of Digital Payments Across Generations

Try It. You’ll Like It.

Although digital P2P adoption first caught on with Millennials, adoption of P2P services continue to be popular among all generations. Of those surveyed, more than seventy-five percent of Millennials have used online or mobile P2P payments. Generation X is a close second at 69%, and Baby Boomers are closing in at 51%.

Those who already have P2P are using it frequently, indicating P2P is becoming part of routine banking behavior. 49% of Millennials use P2P payment services at least once a week, followed by 42% of Generation X and 32% of Boomers.

Trust in Transactions Starts with Trust in Your Friends and Family or Trust in Your Bank

68% of Millennials and 66% of Generation X identified recommendations from friends and family referrals as the primary reason for trying a P2P payments service.  For Boomers, trust in financial institutions was cited as the key reason for changing payments behaviour from physical cash and checks to digital P2P payments.

A service being “offered through a financial institution I use” was found to be a significant motivator for using digital P2P payments for the first time amongst older users, with 70% of Boomers reporting they used a P2P service because it was offered by their bank, versus 49% of Generation X and 35% of Millennials.

The findings suggest that consumers want a secure, easy to use service right from their online banking and/or mobile banking app that is recommended by friends and family who use the service.

Security was also identified as a “very important” feature for an ideal P2P service across all generations. Boomers ranked it the number one feature, while Gen X placed it third and Millennials fifth out of thirteen choices, such as having social features or app reviews. Consumers cited accessing financial information online outside of their financial institutions’ platforms as one of the top barriers to using digital payment services.

Rent, Splitting Bills and Gifting Top P2P Use Cases 

And, what are they using these services for? After reviewing the memo fields used on transactions across the Zelle Network , it was determined that the top reasons for use in banking apps over a six-month period were rent, meals, splitting utility bills, and gifting.

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