Apple Pay Outperforming PayPal in Mobile Payments, According to New 451 Research Survey

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Concerns over security remain, but consumer perceptions are improving

Mobile Payment Apps Preferences - Next 90 Days

“Our latest survey shows planned use of Apple Pay has been on an upward trajectory since it became available six months ago – with the service helping to spark consumer demand for mobile payment technologies,” said Andy Golub, Survey Research Director

A new survey from 451 Research finds Apple Pay gaining momentum in the mobile payments space, primarily at the expense of PayPal.

“Our latest survey shows planned use of Apple Pay has been on an upward trajectory since it became available six months ago – with the service helping to spark consumer demand for mobile payment technologies,” said Andy Golub, Survey Research Director for 451 Research. “Although consumer perceptions of security remain an issue, the results point to marked improvements in this area.”

The March survey, conducted by 451 Research’s ChangeWave service, consisted of 4,168 respondents primarily based in North America, and looked at planned use of mobile payment applications and the issue of security.

  • Future Demand for Mobile Payment Apps

To gauge overall consumer interest in mobile payment applications, we asked smartphone owners about their planned use over the next 90 days, and the survey results show strong interest.

One-quarter (25%) of smartphone owners say they are likely to use mobile payment apps over the next 90 days (11% Very Likely; 14% Somewhat Likely). This number is up just 1-pt since 451’s previous ChangeWave survey in December 2014, but is a full 6-pts higher than one year ago.

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.

  • Competition Among Mobile Payment Services

Apple Pay is the top choice in terms of mobile payment applications consumers plan on using going forward. A total of 45% say they plan to use Apple Pay – which is a 5-pt jump since December.

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.

“The introduction of Apple Pay has catalyzed a wave of strategic moves across the mobile payments ecosystem,” said Jordan McKee, 451 Research’s 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. Moving forward, the pace of activity will only accelerate as vendors look to capitalize on the growing contactless payments infrastructure and secure a foothold in this rapidly evolving sector.”

  • Customer Satisfaction

Looking at satisfaction among consumers who are already using mobile payment apps, Apple outperforms, 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%).

  • Perceptions of Security

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.

In an important finding, the results show a slow, yet steady, improvement in the perception of security over the past year.

One in four respondents (24%) believe mobile payments are more secure than traditional credit cards (6% Significantly More; 18% Somewhat More), while 27% think they’re less secure (16% Somewhat Less; 11% Significantly Less). 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). An upcoming 451 Research report based on a new ChangeWave survey will be taking a close-up look at wearable device trends and demand for the Apple Watch.
  • 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.

To request more information from 451 Research on the latest ChangeWave survey results and the near field communication (NFC) mobile payments market, follow this link.

Methodology: The findings are based upon a March 11-23, 2015 consumer survey on mobile payment services, and a total of 4,168 respondents from 451 Research’s ChangeWave survey network participated. 451 leverages its ChangeWave network of 25,000 business and technology professionals – as well as early-adopter consumers – to provide a forward-looking view of technologies, companies and the macro economy well in advance of other sources.

About 451 Research
451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services and live events to more than 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of The 451 Group. Learn more.

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Michael Essery
451 Research
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