As companies pour cash into developing and advertising their mobile payment products, the future of mobile payments is still up for grabs. Currently, there are three mobile wallets emerging as industry leaders: Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Although watching three technology giants battling it out for mobile payment supremacy may be intriguing, it’s important to keep everything in perspective and understand how far along we are in the mobile wallet lifecycle.
Here are four charts that tell the story of where mobile payments are today.
Mobile operating systems go hand-in-hand with market share, as Apple’s and Android’s mobile wallets can only grow to the limit of their respective users.
Android is far ahead of iOS in terms of market share, but it also has Samsung Pay competing on the same operating system. There are reports that Samsung is releasing an iOS app soon, and expect Apple to surely welcome them with open arms and make no attempts to restrict their app.
Now that OS market share has been broken down, we need to evaluate mobile payments transaction volumes from a few years ago and see if anything has changed since then.
According to this chart, mobile payments comprised only three percent of the worldwide credit and debit card transaction volume in 2013, totaling $207 billion. $200 billion is nothing to roll your eyes at, but it’s nowhere near ecommerce ($691 billion) or retail transaction volume ($5.9 trillion) of the same year.
The obvious knock on this data is that it’s from 2013, and mobile payments have only grown in the past few years. However, when looking at consumer behavior, the opposite may be true.
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and unfortunately for Apple, Samsung, and Google, users chose to go with plastic and paper over mobile wallets. Only a small fraction of iPhone and Android users used their respective mobile payment wallets when shopping on Black Friday in 2015. Most interesting may be that both companies saw market shares that were lower than the three percent threshold shown in the 2013 study.
The issues regarding the growth of Apple, Samsung and Android Pay become more apparent when looking at how many users have ever used the mobile wallets featured on their phones.
According to 2015 data from Trustev, only 20.7 percent of iPhone users and only 14 percent of Android/Samsung users have ever used Apple, Android, or Samsung Pay. Of the users who have used these mobile wallets, a vast majority only use them once a week.
All the data tells us something we already know: Although mobile payments are growing, customers still prefer to use their credit cards over mobile wallets. Until the day that consumers behavior changes, mobile wallets will still be the little brother to cash and plastic.