Consumer adoption of digital payments continues to grow with now 54% of European consumers regularly using a smartphone, tablet or wearable to pay for goods and services. In contrast, a year ago only 18% of consumers used mobile payment technologies, according to Visa’s 2016 Digital Payments Study.
The study surveyed more than 36,000 online consumers in 19 European countries, revealing a dramatic shift in the digital scene. While 38% of the people surveyed in 2015 said they had never used a mobile device to make payments and had no plans to do so, the number dropped to 12% this year.
The top 10 countries with the highest proportion of mobile payments users include Turkey (91%), Denmark (89%), Norway and Israel (each 87%), Sweden (85%), Poland and Romania (each 79%), Ireland (78%), Finland (77%) and Belgium (75%).
In the UK, 74% of the people surveyed are mobile payments users. Interestingly, almost half of UK users also say they are as comfortable making more expensive purchases on mobile devices as they are with everyday payments.
“This data is a confirmation that the future of digital payments has arrived, with consumers across the length and breadth of the UK and Europe embracing a variety of new ways to pay,” said Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Visa.
“In Europe, we’ve recently seen Apple Pay launched in the UK, France and Switzerland, Samsung Pay has launched in Spain and Android Pay in the UK. We’ve also seen a new era of wearable payments: smartwatches, wristbands and even clothing. It’s clear that this trend will continue to accelerate, enabling consumers to choose the connected device that fits with their lifestyle.”
The study also found that consumers who use contactless cards are more open to embracing new payment methods than those who don’t. This means contactless card users are more interested in using a mobile device as a payment method in a shop or a retailer app, compared to consumers who don’t use contactless cards.