In this day and age, customers are using numerous different payment methods, with digital and mobile payments serving as supplements to the traditional cash and card-based payments tools, according to new research released by Blackhawk Network.
The study, “How America Pays in 2015: Traditional, Digital and Mobile Convergence in Payments,” surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to examine how they pay today, their preferences for traditional and emerging payments tools and how safe Americans believe different payments tools to be.
The study found cash, checks and cards most used, but new payment methods are growing in usage. Gift and prepaid debit cards are quite popular, while mobile wallets are being used by 25% of smartphone owners. Still, cash and cards are considered most convenient.
“Consumers still have a strong preference for traditional payment methods like debit cards and prepaid cards. Those payments tools are not going away anytime soon, even as interest in and usage of new payment methods grows,” said Teri Llach, chief marketing officer at Blackhawk Network, a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network. “Our findings prove that payments is not either/or when it comes to legacy payments versus emerging products; it’s really about convenience and providing a mix of options.”
Cash, checks, cards still the most used payment methods with select digital offerings close behind: Shoppers used the following payment methods over the last year:
Ninety-three percent used cash
Sixty-eight percent used debit cards
Sixty-eight percent used checks
Sixty-seven percent used credit cards
Sixty-two percent used PayPal
Forty-eight percent used retailer gift cards
Forty-five percent used Visa or MasterCard gift cards
Thirty-three percent used prepaid debit cards
Fourteen percent made mobile payments on smartphones or tablets
New payment methods growing, cash and checks declining: Sixty-eight percent of mobile payment users report that they are using the alternative payment methods more than last year. Cash and checks saw the greatest declines in use overall.
Gift cards’ popularity is significant: Eighty-seven percent of consumers surveyed think merchant-specific gift cards are convenient to use, even higher than bank-connected debit cards (82%). Additionally, gift cards are now mainstream payment methods with almost half of consumers (48%) using them in the last year.
Mobile wallets now used by 25% of smartphone owners: What do consumers place in their mobile wallets? Sixty-four percent of users have debit cards in their mobile wallets, 58% have credit cards and 45% have gift cards.
Cash, cards considered most convenient payment methods; checks and bitcoin least convenient: When asked to select the most convenient payment methods, consumers selected cash (93%), credit cards (92%), PayPal (90%), and retailer-specific gift cards (87%). Ranking most inconvenient were bitcoin and checks.
The research surveyed more than 1,000 American adults in April of 2015.
Blackhawk Network is a prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels.