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Will Apple Pay be top dog in mobile payments space?

22 Apr 15

Apple Pay is playing a significant role in the mobile payments space, potentially at the expense of PayPal, according to new research from 451 Research. 

The company’s latest survey revealed that planned use of Apple Pay has been on an upward trajectory since it became available last year, with the service helping to spark consumer demand for mobile payment technologies.

Andy Golub, survey research director for 451 Research, says, “Although consumer perceptions of security remain an issue, the results point to marked improvements in this area.”

To gauge overall consumer interest in mobile payment applications, 451 Research asked smartphone owners about their planned use over the next 90 days.

One-quarter (25%) of those surveyed said they are likely to use mobile payment apps over the next 90 days (11% Very Likely; 14% Somewhat Likely). This number is up just one percent since December 2014, but is a full six percent higher than one year ago.

The survey revealed smartphone owners using iOS (34%) are more than twice as likely to use mobile payment apps compared to Android (16%), BlackBerry (13%) or Windows Phone (5%) users.

Apple Pay is the top choice in terms of mobile payment applications consumers plan on using going forward, with a total of 45% say they plan to use the platform.

PayPal (28%) is still solidly in second place, but is down 4-pts compared to three months ago. “As seen in the following chart, PayPal is clearly being impacted by the launch of Apple Pay,” 451 Research says. 

“The introduction of Apple Pay has catalysed a wave of strategic moves across the mobile payments ecosystem,” says Jordan McKee, 451 Research senior mobile payments analyst. 

“In the wake of Apple’s entrance, Google and PayPal have made significant acquisitions, while players such as Facebook and Samsung are rolling out payment products to remain competitive,” McKee says. 

“Moving forward, the pace of activity will only accelerate as vendors look to capitalise on the growing contactless payments infrastructure and secure a foothold in this rapidly evolving sector.”

The survey looked at satisfaction among consumers who are already using mobile payment apps. The results show Apple outperforming, with 66% of those who have used Apple Pay saying they’re Very Satisfied with the service.

PayPal (45%) is in second place, followed by Google Wallet (33%).

The survey also focused on consumer sentiment toward mobile payment security, and asked all respondents whether they consider mobile payments to be more or less secure than traditional credit cards.

The results show a slow, yet steady, improvement in the perception of security over the past year.

One in four respondents (24%) said they believe mobile payments are more secure than traditional credit cards, while 27% think they’re less secure. This is a net 3-pt improvement compared to December 2014 and a major 26-pt improvement since a year ago.

Other key findings include:
•    Respondents interested in buying an Apple Watch are twice as likely (54%) as all other smartphone owners to say they’ll use mobile payment apps (29% Very Likely and 25% Somewhat Likely). 
•    The Secure Storage of Financial Account Information (84%) is the most important feature in a mobile payment app according to likely users, followed by Widespread Acceptance Among Merchants (70%).
•    The survey looked at overall consumer interest in Samsung’s new mobile payment service set to launch this summer. A total of 8% of respondents say they’re Very or Somewhat Likely to use Samsung Pay in the future. But that number jumps to 25% among Samsung smartphone owners, and surges to 46% among those planning to buy a Samsung smartphone in the next 90 days.

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