Mobile Payment Use Increases; Small Businesses Struggle to Adopt Technology

As consumer usage of mobile devices continues to climb, so too has the demand for mobile payment options. More and more shoppers are turning to their smartphones and other mobile devices to pay for goods and services, and businesses are increasingly becoming aware of its proliferation. However, SMBs are still sluggish in the adoption of mobile payment technologies, according to findings in our most recent Local Pulse Report™.

eMarketer indicates that there will be approximately 50 million mobile payment users in the U.S. this year, and that number is expected to climb to 76 million by 2020. Further, the percent of U.S. smartphone users who made in-store mobile payments rose from 5% to 20% from 2014-2016 alone.


Mobile payments are exploding, and SMBs realize this. When we asked what areas they thought would have a significant impact on their business over the next 2-3 years, nearly one-quarter said mobile payment technologies would be instrumental. And, of those SMBs that can currently accept mobile payments, nearly 60 percent feel that up to half or more of their sales will come from online and mobile commerce platforms over the next year.



Yet, our research indicates that, only 39% of businesses can accept mobile payments – up just 1% from last year. Why is this?


Need and cost continue to be main factors determining whether or not SMB’s have the capability accept mobile payments with the size of the business also playing a role. Almost half (43%) of respondents stated that they didn’t feel their business had a need for mobile payment capabilities, 35% said that it would be too expensive to upgrade their current POS systems, and still only 50% of larger SMBs can accept mobile payments. That percentage drops even lower the smaller the business size.



It is clear that SMBs are still grappling with exactly how online and mobile payments fit into their business models, and we will monitor these trends closely.


For more information about this topic and The Local Pulse Report™, click here.


Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee is the Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics, a marketing research and analytics consulting firm. His career spans more than 20 years in marketing, advertising, product development, research, and business management. Before founding Thrive Analytics in 2010, he held several senior leadership roles at AT&T, Reynolds & Reynolds, Berry Network, & The Berry Company.

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