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Mobile Payment Systems and Their Rise in Popularity

Mobile Payment Systems and Their Rise in Popularity

Yesterday, our chief monkey, Dave Goldberg, appeared on Bloomberg West with Emily Chang in our monthly segment, SurveyMonkey Shakedown. This month’s survey focused on mobile payment systems–addressing their rise in popularity, concerns the public has about security, and comparing convenience to their credit card counterparts. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed over 600 mobile phone users to get their opinions on the matter.

Check out the segment and the summary of the findings below:


  • 54% of all respondents have used some form of payment service on their mobile phone
    • 38% are using them to make mobile purchases monthly, and 17% are making them weekly
  • 55% of all respondents are planning to make mobile purchases more often in the future – more than double those who aren’t

Security is the chief concern

  • 45% of all respondents were very or extremely concerned with the security of mobile payment solutions
  • Of those who have not used a mobile payment system, 57% cited security as the primary reason, followed by unfamiliarity with the technology (38%).

This follows the overall trend of security remaining the number one concern for those using smartphones for any activity beyond making phone calls, not just payments. This is especially prevalent among those who are not as tech savvy, and may not understand all of the security measures in place on mobile.

PayPal is king

  • A whopping 92% of respondents have heard of PayPal as a mobile payment solution; 78% have used it to make a mobile payment
  • Square comes in third (27%), behind Google Wallet (39%)
    • 20% have actually used Google Wallet, and 18% have used Square

This is not necessarily surprising because of PayPal’s dominance in web payments (and they’ve been around forever).  Smaller players like Boku and Dwolla have an uphill battle against the bigger names, not just in terms of awareness, but also translating that into usage.

It’s getting more convenient 

  • 67% cited convenience as the number one reason to start using mobile payment and 43% think that mobile payments are more convenient that credit cards.
  • 57% still think credit cards are more convenient than mobile payment systems
  • Interestingly, special discounts were only cited by 7% of respondents as a reason to start using mobile payments.

This is the classic argument used against mobile payments – are they really that much faster than swiping a card? People still seem divided on this. Mobile payment companies are battling this perception in different ways, offering more than just payment solutions in some cases as additional value for the consumer. To really accelerate mobile payment growth to the next level, overcoming this mindset will be a huge factor.

Mobile payments, anywhere, anytime

  • Mobile purchasers most want restaurants to begin accepting mobile payments (23%)
    • However, many respondents who do use mobile purchasing solutions believe all types of businesses should offer mobile payments

This follows the recent news announcement from Starbucks that it’s incorporating Square’s payment system into its stores across the US. Mobile purchasers are a growing contingent, and by offering multiple ways to pay, companies are more likely to grab more purchasers.

To see the full set of survey results, click here.

Have you used any mobile payment services? Are they more convenient than credit cards? Let us know in the comments section below.

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3 thoughts on “Mobile Payment Systems and Their Rise in Popularity

  1. David Zini says:

    This survey is totally righ. People has moved from cash and check books to electronic payments because of convenience, powerfull of buy now, instead to buy later. Security worries has always been around, but the trade off between speed and fashioned has been powerful and win. On the other side market has thosed of individuals and small business which had no chance to take advantage of electronic way of payments until the mobile could turn it possible. In Brazil we are launch Pag Pop, a copy cat of square which is gain hundred of new customers every day.

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