What’s in Your Mobile Wallet?: Mobile Payment App Trends and Insights

June 10, 2021
Mobile Payment App Blog

As mobile payment apps continue to rise in popularity, retailers, financial service providers, and tech companies are all looking for ways to corner their share of this growing market. In a Fluent Pulse survey of almost 17K consumers, we found that 45% of Americans use a mobile payment app today – with 33% using them more frequently vs. the same time the year prior. Offering a fast, easy, and contactless option to send payments, apps like Apple Pay and Cash App help to meet consumer demand for more seamless shopping experiences.

Rise of Mobile Payment Apps 

Here’s a rundown on which mobile payment apps consumers are using most often, what they value most in these services, and what marketers need to know to get ahead in this growing space. 

Which mobile payment apps do you use most frequently? 

In terms of popularity, Cash App (42%) and PayPal (41%) have a monumental lead over other mobile payment apps – with usage almost 7x higher than Google Pay (6%), followed by Zelle (5%), Venmo (4%) and Apple Pay (2%). 

How frequently do you use mobile payment apps? 

Overall, Americans today are largely using mobile payment apps on a monthly basis (36%). When looking at usage trends across generations, we found:  

  • Gen Z and Millennials are 83% more likely to use mobile payment apps on a daily basis compared to Gen X.
  • Baby Boomers are largely represented as monthly users of payment apps, or 2.5x more when compared to Gen Z. 
How frequently do you use mobile payment apps?

What do you value most in a mobile payment app? 

Almost half of consumers who use mobile payment apps value convenience above all else (49%), followed by the ability to make contactless payments (12%) and go cashless (10%). Comparing value attributes across generations, we found: 

  • Gen Z is most likely to value rewards and discounts, as well as minimal transaction fees. When compared to Millennials, they are 70% more likely to value discounts and 88% more likely to value low transaction costs.  
  • Behind convenience, cashless and contactless payments resonate best with Baby Boomers. 
What do you value most in mobile payment app?

What prevents you from using mobile payment apps? 

Those who don’t use mobile payment apps largely prefer using cash (45%) or are concerned about data security (24%). Younger generations are more likely to prefer using cash, while older generations are more concerned about data security. 

Interestingly, Gen Z and The Silent Generation are drawn away from mobile payment apps by better rewards programs offered by credit cards – 20% and 22%, respectively.   

What prevents you from using mobile payment apps?

What Marketers Need to Know

Rewards and loyalty programs help to drive adoption of mobile payment apps. 

  • With Americans more inclined to use a mobile payment app if they receive rewards and promotions, providers can leverage these programs to encourage adoption and drive continued use of their app.  
  • Gen Z is most likely to value incentives like rewards and discounts (17%), while Gen X and Baby Boomers are more inclined to start using mobile payment apps if offered special promotions.  

For some consumers, data security trumps convenience in the mobile payment arena.

  • While mobile payment apps offer a level of ease and convenience, data privacy concerns make some consumers reluctant to adopt and utilize them. 
  • Compared to Gen Z and Millennials, US consumers over age 40 cite data security concerns as a factor preventing them from using mobile payment apps.  
  • Mobile payment providers can gain favor by enforcing strict data security measures that help to build a sense of trust and ultimately validate the safety of their platforms. 

Want to learn more? Read the full Mobile Payment App survey results and check out additional insights from the Fluent Pulse here.