Millennials hop onboard the mobile payment hype train

The next time businesses see a millennial at the point of sale, he or she may be looking to use a mobile device to make a payment. It is crucial that organizations deploy POS solutions that can process payments of this variety, or else they run the possibility of missing out on a sale, as the millennial customer may not have an alternative form of payment on them.

A recent report from GFK looked at American shoppers’ attitudes toward mobile payments. While some older age brackets (people above the age of 35) still do not see the value in purchasing goods via their smartphones and tablets, millennials find mobile payments to be quite useful. Nearly half of respondents indicated that smartphone and tablet-based mediums are faster than conventional payment types, made shopping more efficient and are easier than other other payment methods.

While older consumers did not seem very impressed by mobile payments, Generation Z shoppers (people between 18 years-old and 24 years-old) had similar sentiments to millennials, although to a lesser degree.

Mobile payments on the trajectory of becoming the ‘norm’?
It should be noted that mobile payments still account for a small portion of transactions being made. Only 33 percent of shoppers in the United States have used smartphones and tablets in the past six months to make a purchase and even then, only approximately one-in-five of those respondents make more than four mobile payments on a monthly basis.

Additionally, many shoppers still think of mobile as being a novelty rather than a payment solution they would use frequently. According to the GFK report, 37 percent of respondents believe mobile payments are gimmicks, while 42 percent say the technology is still clunky and has other usage limitations.

Still, the fact that so many younger consumer are using mobile payments suggests that mobile payments have a bright future in front of them, particularly as these consumers grow older. Moreover, with new companies supporting mobile payments, such as Apple with its Apple Pay service, smartphone and tablet-based payments will gain even more exposure in the mainstream, which could further push adoption.

Mobile payments may not be as common as other payment methods right now, but in the near future, it could be vital for retailers to make use of POS systems that support them.