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Mobile Pay Adoption Is Growing, Albeit Slowly

CHICAGO — More than four in 10 consumers have used a mobile device to make a purchase at a brick-and-mortar retail location, a 7-percentage-point increase year over year, according to a newly released survey conducted by Chicago-based Retale, a location-based mobile platform. 

The company surveyed 1,000 adult men and women from Dec. 1-5. The results also revealed that 61 percent of respondents stated they would be interested in using a mobile device to pay for a gift or other item in a retail store during the holiday season, compared to 56 percent last year. In addition, 63 percent of respondents said retailers should offer a form of mobile payment in-store, compared to 57 percent who answered this way in 2014.

“The embrace of mobile pay has been slightly slower than many originally anticipated. But the growth we’re seeing is undeniable, especially over the holidays when consumers seek out the best tools to streamline and simplify their shopping," said Pat Dermody, president of Retale. "For many, mobile pay is a big advantage at checkout, and that’s building strong consumer support and propelling adoption upward.”

As for which mobile payment solution consumers prefer, half mentioned PayPal, followed by their bank's mobile payment app (cited by 27 percent of respondents), Apple Pay (20 percent), Android Pay (17 percent) and a retailer’s app (17 percent).

“PayPal and mobile banking apps still own the mobile payments market,” said Dermody. “As shoppers grow accustomed to using services like Apple Pay and Android Pay, those numbers will shift, but there might be too much fragmentation to drive significant increases, at least in the short term.”

Among respondents who don’t use mobile pay, “data breaches and privacy” rank as their No. 1 concern (cited by 59 percent), followed by “possible theft or loss of mobile device” (55 percent).

“Whenever we talk about payment methods at retail, whether they’re newer options like mobile pay or traditional methods like credit cards, data privacy is always going to be the No. 1 concern,” concluded Dermody. “From 2014 to 2015, that didn’t change, and I don’t expect it to change in 2016.”

Retale, a Group company, delivers interactive ad content from hundreds of top-line retailers to mobile audiences.

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