What is a Mobile Wallet? Part 4 - What Does the Average Mobile Wallet User Look Like? on 1/13/2015

What is a Mobile Wallet? Part 4 - What Does the Average Mobile Wallet User Look Like?

January 13, 2015

In the past few posts we have covered the technology and types of consumers that will be using mobile wallets. Click here to start at the beginning of our “What is a mobile wallet?” series. This time we would like to take a deeper look at the average mobile wallet user.

According to a recent PEW Internet Projects research study 90% of adult consumers have a cell phone and 58% have a smart phone as of January 2014. 83% percent of consumers 18 to 29 and 81% of people with incomes over 75k have phones. Unless you are specifically targeting a low income designation that probably means the future borrowers, savers and users of credit unions have widely adopted smart phone technology. With almost 60% of consumers having smart phones and the rest soon to follow, we have surpassed the tipping point of when a technology is main stream.

In the past few posts we have covered the technology and types of consumers that will be using mobile wallets. Click here to start at the beginning of our “What is a mobile wallet?” series. This time we would like to take a deeper look at the average mobile wallet user.

According to a recent PEW Internet Projects research study 90% of adult consumers have a cell phone and 58% have a smart phone as of January 2014. 83% percent of consumers 18 to 29 and 81% of people with incomes over 75k have phones. Unless you are specifically targeting a low income designation that probably means the future borrowers, savers and users of credit unions have widely adopted smart phone technology. With almost 60% of consumers having smart phones and the rest soon to follow, we have surpassed the tipping point of when a technology is main stream.

One place we can look for demographic info is at PayPal. In 1998, PayPal looked to help settle payments more reliability as the internet took off. 16 years later – they have 150 million accounts and yet they are still relying on ACH and traditional payment mechanisms. Amazingly enough 88% of their users are under 55 and 84% have incomes under $75k annually. So, a complete uninsured payment tool that is all electronic and web based has demonstrated the power of quicker, faster payment tools.

In our prior post we discussed “Who mobile wallets are for,” and ultimately concluded that based on the Starbucks they are really for all consumers. Certainly the Paypal and demographic shows that your younger and wealthier members will adopt the technology first, but it won’t take long for your whole membership to participate.

So what will drive the adoption? What do members want? According to a variety of studies it comes down to two things A) security and B) perks. Yup, that’s it. Members are sick of the ancient credit card technology that has led to massive fraud and hassle for consumers (and credit unions) alike. Second, they want deals.

Consequently the average mobile wallet looks like it will probably be:

  • A smart phone users (58% of Americans)
  • Under 55 (although adoption will be high in older demographics too)
  • All incomes
  • Members who value security (members trust CU’s more in this area – it will be key for the Credit Union to explain the security improvement in terms the member understands)
  • Members who want deals

Some might argue ubiquity is key to adoption. We disagree, it is certainly important but ultimately most disruptive technologies require an incremental improvement that is better or cheaper than today. Ubiquity is important for long-term adoption and long-term competition but plenty of mainstream technologies didn’t start in the mainstream.

The CU Wallet platform is focused on both Android and iOS smartphone adoption so that we don’t leave out half our members. It adds significant security features such as tokenization while leveraging legacy fraud detection and repudiation systems. Has the capability to further expand authentication and security through things like Voice Recognition and Facial Recognition software. And most importantly – is integrated with a deal platform that provides unique ads and offers for members.

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