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Commerce at the Speed of Light

By Bill Gajda, Global Head, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships • Visa

September 22, 2017

As we welcome clients, partners, merchants and fintechs to the Visa Futures conference in Barcelona, we’re spending time intensively looking at the issues that face us all – the most important of which is the rapidly changing payments landscape and its impact on new consumer behaviours.

It’s therefore appropriate that we’re also rolling out the findings from our third annual Digital Payments Study, which looks at consumer behaviour around digital payments, ranging from contactless to online shopping as well as attitudes on privacy and security.

And what the study reveals is incredibly exciting for those of us who live and breathe innovation everyday: 77 percent of Europeans are what we call “mobile money” users. In other words, they use a mobile device, be it smartphone, tablet or wearable, to bank, pay bills, shop or transfer money to their family and friends.

It’s no surprise, though. Last year, the research firm Dscout found that the average smartphone user touches their phone more than 2,600 times every day, including every type, tap, swipe and click. When something becomes that much of a lifeline, whether it’s for monitoring social media, keeping an eye on the news or just playing games while waiting for a meeting to start, then it’s only natural that it becomes an important channel for commerce. And that’s exactly what we have found:

  • 62 percent of Europeans check their balance or access other services through a banking app. By comparison, in 2015, only 29 percent of people surveyed had a mobile banking app and 7 percent used a money management app.
  • 68 percent have used a digital wallet (e.g., PayPal), a card-on-file service or a mobile payment service such as Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. This number is up from 63 percent in 2016.
  • Consumers are feeling increasingly comfortable doing transactions on their mobile devices, moving away from desktops and laptops as nearly half (48 percent) of Europeans use a mobile device to shop.
  • Almost the same number (45 percent) send money to friends and family using a smartphone or tablet.

As one would expect, millennials are blazing the trail, with 86 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 years saying they are “Mobile Money users”.

  • Millennials are also far more likely to bank online, 70 percent of millennials vs 62 percent of the European average
  • They also lead the general population when it comes to using mobile devices to transfer money to friends and family with 57 percent doing so, compared to 45 percent of the European average

Despite the perception that people overshare aspects of their private lives on social networks, consumers draw a clear line when it comes to sharing personal data such as payment card or banking details.

  • Family members had the highest trust rating at 46 percent, followed by banks (35 percent) and government agencies (31 percent).
  • 84 percent of people surveyed expressed discomfort about sharing sensitive personal details with social media, including two-thirds (66 percent) who say they are uncomfortable sharing their bank account or payment card details with social networks.
  • 42 percent would not feel comfortable sharing their biometric data with social networks.

If you would like to learn more about the pan-European findings, please click here. And check out Visa Vision, Twitter (@VisainEurope), and Storify for coverage and reaction from the Visa Futures conference.

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