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CUNA: More than Half of Those in U.S. with Smartphones Use Mobile Payments
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 6:45 AM

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has just released a survey that finds that among smartphone users, more than half use their phone to make some type of mobile payment (defined as "any payment done using a mobile phone").  The survey also revealed that regardless of whether a smartphone owner uses mobile payments or not, security remains the foremost concern.

More than three-quarters of respondents (77.7 percent) listed security as their most serious concern.  Other concerns were much less significant, no other category garnering more than 10 percent, including battery life of phone (6.9 percent), confusing to use (6.4 percent), not enough rewards/bonus features (5.1 percent), and inability to track a budget (4.0 percent).

"The fact that the overwhelming majority of smartphone users listed security as a top concern is a reminder to financial institutions and others that offer mobile payments that users won’t sacrifice convenience for security," said CUNA Executive Vice President Paul Gentile. “While there have been many advances made with mobile security in recent years, respondents’ concerns over security indicate financial institutions and companies in the mobile space must continue to stress their focus on security with their customers.”

Among respondents who use mobile payments, 91.6 percent indicate that ease of use is the greatest benefit.  The most common single transaction dollar amount for a mobile payment was over $50 (34 percent), followed by less than $25.01 - $50 (9.2 percent), $10.01 - $25 (7.6 percent), $5.01-$10 (3.2 percent), and $0.01 - $5 (1.7 percent), 44.3 percent indicated that they don't use mobile payments.

When it comes to rewards, traditional payment methods are still preferred over mobile payments.  Mobile payments were viewed the least favorably with regard to rewards, bonus features, and points (6.1 percent).  A plurality of respondents (41.8 percent) preferred credit cards, while 25.9 percent preferred debit cards, and 26.2 percent were unsure.

When broken down by age groups, the greatest use of mobile payments came from respondents ages 30-44 (59.6 percent), followed by 18-29 (57.9 percent), 45-60 (47.8 percent), and 61+ (24.1 percent).  The survey also suggests that more women (54.5 percent) than men (47.6) use mobile payments.

CUNA's Mobile Payments Survey polled 1,046 people via the internet from a population of mobile phone users.  The respondents were 51.3 percent female and 48.7 percent male.  18.2 percent of respondents reported household income of less than $25,000, 13.9 percent reported less than $50,000, 32.0 percent reported less than $100,000, 18.1 percent reported less than $150,000 and 17.8 percent reported more than $150,000. The United States Census Bureau regions reported were representative as well, with no region making up more than 16.5 percent of responses.