The slow and steady growth of ‘mobile payments’

I’ve written quite a bit about mobile payments over the years (here, here, here and here for starters) and it seems that it’s a space that continues to progress ahead, albeit at a relatively slow pace.

A new report from Visa Europe outlines that an ever-increasing amount of people are starting to use a mobile device to make payments in some form. Hardly surprising.

  • The number of Europeans regularly using a mobile device for payments has tripled since 2015 (54% vs 18%)
  • 74% of British consumers are ‘Mobile Payments users’ – people who manage their money or make payments using a mobile device
  • The fastest growth rate for mobile banking adoption is with 55-64 year olds

While more and more people are becoming ‘mobile payments users’, this seems to be a pretty vague term mainly encompassing users who make monthly in-app bill payments and the like. Frequency is overlooked.

The fact that more people are using mobile devices to make payments is great and all, but whether you sit on your couch and book a flight on your laptop or on your mobile phone doesn’t really make much of a difference.

The real disruption to be made re: mobile payments is at the point of sale. And it seems that this still has a pretty long way to go.

This Business Insider graph from more than 2 years ago has actually proven to be quite accurate. Mobile in-store payments are continuing to account for a growing proportion of all e-Commerce payments, but we have certainly not yet reached what you might call a tipping point.

Even with the same slow and steady growth of the past couple of years, we will continue to see mobile making an increasing impact in brick-and-mortar retail sales. Although it could be another couple of years before this truly becomes the norm.