Mobile payments are having a tough time gaining adoption in mature markets. According to the annual “Connected Life” study by Kantar TNS, only a minority of internet users surveyed in countries like the US, the UK, Canada, France and Germany preferred the use of mobile payments to other methods.
In fact, China and Mongolia were the only two countries in which a majority of respondents said they favoured using mobile payment platforms. China was something of an outlier, where 64% of respondents expressed a preference for mobile payments. Mongolia was close behind (63%).
A June 2017 survey of urban WeChat Pay users in China by Tencent Research Institute found that 73% of respondents used cash when that was the only form of payment accepted.
Meanwhile, services like WeChat Pay have established themselves as an easy way to complete transactions in China. eMarketer estimates that 77.5% of smartphone users in China will use proximity mobile payments in 2018, compared with just 25.3% of smartphone users in the US.
There are a few factors holding back mobile payments in Western markets. According to a June 2017 survey by Paysafe, lack of knowledge was the primary reason mobile users in Canada, the UK and the US don’t use a mobile wallet. Other reasons included various security concerns, and some simply didn’t like taking their phone out to pay.