Mobile Payments For Deals? Slim Majority Says No in Street Fight Poll

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PollA new Street Fight poll has found that about 43% of consumers are willing to use a mobile wallet service in exchange for receiving deals from retailers. As with previous polls in the subject area, though, adoption rates are much more prevalent among the 18-34 demographic, yet many still remain unaware of what mobile wallets actually are.

The poll of 500 U.S. consumers finds that a shade more than 17% are very willing to pay via mobile for deals, and another 26% are somewhat willing. But 11% are unlikely to pay with a smartphone, 24% say they’re uninterested, and another 22% don’t know what a mobile wallet is. The poll was conducted on behalf of Street Fight by third-party opinions platform Toluna QuickSurveys.

But once the results are broken down by demographic, we see a younger user base more willing to use mobile wallets. 28% of consumers aged 18-34 are very willing to swap mobile payments for deals, and another 25% are somewhat willing; more than 80% know what mobile wallets are. Consumers aged 35-54 are 19% very willing and 33% somewhat willing, but only 7% of those 55 and older are very willing to pay via mobile for deals, and 40% are entirely uninterested.

A similar Street Fight poll conducted in September found close to 77% of consumers don’t rely on their mobile phone to pay for goods or services. According to that poll, 23% prefer to pay via a mobile phone, 45% said they prefer to pay another way, whether it’s credit/debit card or cash, and almost a third of respondents reported not owning a smartphone. Also in that poll of 513 consumers, 46% said they’re not any more likely to shop with a merchant that accepts mobile payments, but 22% were.

It’s important to remember that, although our results show a majority are not reliant on mobile wallets, the space is still in its infancy. Adoption rates remain low, but the space is increasingly active. Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square partnered with Starbucks, which also invested $25 million in the San Francisco-based startup, in August, and shortly thereafter a consortium of 13 big-name retailers, headlined by Walmart and Target, even developed plans to form their own mobile wallet system.

As smartphone penetration continues to climb, there’s no reason to doubt the ascendancy of the mobile payments space — the fact that 78% of consumers currently know what a mobile wallet is has to be considered a good start! Consumers mostly remain open to deals, and on the merchant’s end, mobile payments, once the technology is extended to a critical mass of SMBs, could offer an in to gathering key location analytics.

Patrick Duprey is an editorial assistant with Street Fight. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickJDuprey.