Feds Report Increasing Consumer Smartphone Use for Banking and Payments


Since 2011, the Federal Reserve Board has conducted a survey of how consumers use their mobile phones to interact with financial institutions (mobile banking) and use of mobile phones to make informed shopping decisions and pay for goods and services (mobile payments).

According to the most recent report,Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015, the use of mobile phones to access bank accounts, credit cards, or other financial accounts continued to increase among adults in the United States last year. The report notes that most adults in the U.S. have mobile phones (87 percent) and of those devices, 71 percent of them are smartphones. Mobile phone owners are increasing their use for payments. Seventeen percent of this demographic reported using these devices for payments in 2013, increasing to 22 percent in 2014.

It may not come as a surprise that younger consumers are more likely to use their smartphones for banking and payments. The report found in the 18 to 29 year old demographic, 34 percent made mobile payments in 2014 — an increase of 6 percent from the previous year. In the 30 to 44 year old group, the use of mobile payments increased 10 percent from 2013 to 2014 at 31 percent. Just 16 percent of the 45 to 59 year olds made mobile payments in 2014.

As the numbers for mobile payment adoption continue to rise steadily, experts predict a huge wave of growth as the popularity of Apple Pay™ and similar apps increase. A new in-depth report on mobile payments from BI Intelligence reports on Apple Pay’s early signs of success with payments made through this app accounting for between 0.1%-1.6% of transactions at five top retailers in the month following the launch of the feature. This is exceptional momentum considering it can only be used on iPhones.

Now is the time for merchants to get on board with accepting mobile payments and TransFirst® can help with countertop terminals from major manufacturers that can accommodate mobile payments. Check out the VeriFone VX 520, the Ingenico® iCT250 and iCT220 CTL that can handle EMV® and NFC/contactless payment transactions. These devices exceed industry requirements for data security and can prepare you to accept Apple Pay and other mobile payment solutions.

Not only will this help you take advantage of accepting mobile payments you might have missed, you will also be prepared for the EMV liability shift that will impact all merchants (with the exception of petroleum merchants) who need to support EMV by October 2015.  After this date if a fraudulent purchase is made using a counterfeit card in your business, you will assume responsibility for the fraudulent cost if you do not have EMV capable devices. Presently, issuing banks assume any liability if fraud originates from a counterfeit, lost or stolen credit card.

Don’t wait to become EMV compliant. Speak to a TransFirst representative and discuss your upgrade options today and soon you’ll be ready to capitalize on the mobile payments boon.

Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple Inc. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. EMV is a registered trademark or trademark of EMVCO LLC in the United States and other countries. Trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are not necessarily affiliated with TransFirst.

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