Apple Pay, which launched October 2014, now has some hot competition, as in September, both Google and Samsung rolled out their mobile payment platforms, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Android consumers appear to be willing to try out the new technology, according to an online October survey of about 2,000 U.S. consumers conducted by e-commerce fraud and technology provider Trustev. 1,004 of the consumers surveyed own an Android device and 1,011 an iPhone. To use mobile payments in a store, the point-of-sale system must accept the wireless technology known as Near Field Communication that links the smartphone to the payment terminal. To use the technology consumers must have an iPhone 6 or 6-plus, Android device running 4.4 or higher or Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge or Note5 or S6.
In the first few weeks the payment options were available, 14.04% of Android smartphone device owners say they tried Android Pay or Samsung Pay. In the year that it’s been available, 20.7% of iPhone owners say they’ve tried Apple Pay either in app or in store.
Thad Peterson, senior analyst at payments consulting firm Aite Group, is not surprised that consumers are already trying out mobile payments on Android devices.
“Awareness is much higher now that Apple Pay has been out for a year and the number of locations that accept contactless has grown as well,” Peterson says.
While 14.04% of Android consumers have used the payment system at least once, chief marketing officer of Trustev Rurik Bradbury points out that that doesn’t mean consumers are adopting it as their main way to pay.
Of the 14.04% of consumers, or 141 consumers, who have tried Android or Samsung Pay, 38.03% say they never use the payment system during a typical week, meaning they likely only tried it once, Bradbury says. 36.17% of consumers who have tried it say they use it once per week, 10.64% two or three times per week, 4.96% between four and 10 times per week, 1.42% between 11 and 20 times per week and nearly 9% 20 times or more per week.
Comparatively, of the 20.7% consumers who have tried Apple Pay, only 15.3% say they never use it during an average week, 56.0% say they use Apple Pay once per week, 16.3% two or three times per week, 7.7% between four and 10 times per week, 2.4% between 11 and 20 times and 2.4% 20 times or more per week.
Bradbury admits that 20 times per week is a high threshold for consumers using any type of payment. “The idea was to put an upper bracket where we could be confident that the majority of those people’s purchases were being made using mobile payments,” he says.
According to the results, 8.51% of the Android consumers who have tried Android or Samsung Pay have used their smartphone’s mobile payment more than 20 times per week, compared to the 2.4% of Apple Pay consumers who have tried it and used it 20 or more times per week.
“This implies that, among their early adopter users, the Android group may be more willing to experiment,” Bradbury says.
Of consumers who have tried mobile payments the main reason for using it was the convenience of paying (41.30% of iPhone users and 40.21% of Android users). Other reasons iPhone consumers use Apple Pay include: cool to use it (24.6%), security (23.2%), can leave wallet at home (10.0%) or other (0.9%). For Android consumers: cool to use it (18.56%), security (15.98%), can leave wallet at home (18.04%) or other (7.22%).
Of the majority of consumers who have never tried Apple Pay (79.3%) or Android Pay/Samsung Pay (85.96%) the reasons why they don’t use the mobile payments system varied, but the main reason for both Apple and Android users was that they don’t care about the feature. Other reasons for not using Apply Pay include: didn’t know about the feature (21.2%), don’t care about the feature (35.7%), not widely accepted (10.9%), it requires sharing my fingerprints and I don’t want to do that (8.8%), don’t know how to do use it (19.5%) and other (3.9%). For Android Pay and Samsung Pay: didn’t know about the feature (29.3%), don’t care about the feature (39.68%), not widely accepted (10.22%), don’t know how to use it (17.56%) and other (3.17%). Number don’t add up to 100% because of rounding.
Consumers may not care about a new payment feature because paying with a credit card is not hard, Bradbury says.
“Apple Pay and other mobile payments solutions are trying to replace something that is not a problem for people,” he says. “Paying with a credit card is a habit everyone has, so people don’t have much interest in adopting something new.”
Having an incentive for consumers to use the mobile payment option will help drive growth, Bradbury says. He referenced Walgreens’ announcement yesterday as a good example of driving Apple Pay growth. Walgreens tied its loyalty program, Walgreens Balance Rewards, to Apple Pay, so when a consumer checks out in store with Apple Pay, the POS system will attribute their Walgreens rewards information to her account without her having to swipe her rewards card. Consumers have to add their Balance Reward digital card to Apple’s Wallet app in order for this technology to work.
“Options like cash back or rewards points will push consumers to use mobile payments more regularly, which will help drive adoption in the long run,” Bradbury says.
Peterson is confident mobile payments will catch on as more point of sale system will accept NFC payments and more smartphone devices that are NFC-enabled enter the market.
“That, combined with the maturation of the millennial generation to the point where they actually have money to spend, will drive growth,” Peterson says.
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