The fastest-growing companies are also the most likely to accept mobile payments, according to the global survey of 2,300 companies and consumers conducted by Ingenico ePayments, Oxford Economics and Charney Research.
It found that among business respondents with annual revenue growth of 11% or more, 43% have an app that supports purchases and payments, compared with 32% of slower-growth businesses.
Peter Olynick, retail banking senior practice lead for NTT DATA, said the survey showed what he was expecting to see.
“For a while, there has been this sense that mobile payments are just around the corner.” But companies have been hesitant, often over security concerns, he said. He found the correlation of growth and acceptance of mobile payments interesting.
“It seems that a lot of executives were more conservative about the rate of change than we have started to see among consumers. We see more places that can accept some of these newer payments types and more people pulling out their phone than last year.”
He probably doesn’t go a day without using Android Pay, Olynick said. The delays of the EMV chip cards at point of sale contribute to the interest in mobile payments, he added.
“Some of our own research, plus and anecdotal information, shows frustration level over the amount of time EMV takes.”
Looking into the future, the survey found consumers expect their use of cash to drop faster than business executives are planning on.
“A lot of people think they will be using a lot less cash in the near future and executives are more conservative. Consumers thought they would use 32% less cash and execs were thinking it would be a 5% — that’s a pretty big difference.”
Drawing on his own experience again, Olynick said he used to go to an ATM once a week; now he often won’t go for a month, and then its mostly to get cash for tips, otherwise he pays by card or phone.
He expects a continued move to general purpose cards, with a handful of private label cards like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and more use of general purpose cards like Visa or Mastercard for everything else.
“We don’t want to make payments to 55 different places; general purpose cards have a real value.”
A key lesson from the survey is that retailers profit when they remove friction from the buying process, he said.
“Anytime you can remove the friction of the payment we are seeing those companies are getting a nice uplift. If you walk into a retailer and pick up one or two things and there is a line at checkout, you put it down and walk out because don’t have the 15 minutes it will take for that queue to open up. When we can get to the point where the payment itself is frictionless, we will get those sales that have been lost. We are very high on the idea that removing that friction, such as Uber, or just making it easier and a little bit faster to get through the line, all those things are going to make it be positive to the retailers who do it best.”
In the survey, cryptocurrencies showed up in a way — 8% of businesses that accept mobile payments also accept cryptocurrencies.
Even that may overstate the case. Chris Skinner in his recent book Value Web has an interview with Jeffrey Robinson, author of BitCon: The Naked Truth About Bitcoin. Robinson says that companies which accept payments in bitcoin really only allow customers to pay in bitcoin, and then they immediately route the payments through Coinbase or BitPay.
“Allowing a customer to pay with bitcoin is not an endorsement of bitcoin, it’s a marketing ploy,” he told Skinner.
The survey also found that companies which sell internationally grow faster.
“Among companies with annual profit growth of 11% or better, 56% sell to international markets, compared with 44% of their slower-growing counterparts.” Payment guarantee companies like Forter, Signifyd and Radial make it easier and safer for companies to accept cross-border electronic payments.
Developing countries are eager users of mobile payments — 58% of consumers in developing countries make mobile payments at least once a week, compared with only 39% in developed countries, the survey found, with Kenya and China leading in active use of mobile.