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Over half of Europeans purchase using mobile

The number of people using mobile devices – including smartphones, tablets and wearables – to make payments has tripled in Europe over the last year.  

According to the study of over 36,000 online consumers in 19 European countries, over half of European consumers use their mobile to regularly make payments, compared to 18% who were surveyed last year.

Almost 75% of UK consumers regularly use their mobile to manage their money or make payments, according to Visa’s 2016 Digital Payments Study. The resarch did not break out mCommerce and in-store mobile payments, but of those UK consumers, 59% use their mobile to transfer money to family and friends and 45% buy take-away meals using their smart device. UK consumers are also comfortable making larger purchases with their mobile devices, with 43% purchasing holidays and electronics, while 42% pay household bills and 41% purchase bus or train tickets.

The research also suggested the use of mobile banking services across Europe is increasing at a growth rate of 33%, with the highest growth rate coming from the 55-64 year old age bracket.

"This data is a confirmation that the future of digital payments has arrived, with consumers across the length and breadth of the UK and Europe embracing a variety of new ways to pay," said Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland MD at Visa.

"Visa sees smartphones and wearables as the beginning of a broader trend, with millions of new connected devices making it simple, safe and secure to integrate daily commerce transactions into almost any technology," he added.

Visa believes the increased use of mobiles for purchasing goods has coincided with the adoption of contactless technology, which the payments company said is now considered the norm across all age groups, with 58% of UK people having used contactless cards in the last year, up from 20% in 2015. In fact, The UK Cards Association recently reported that monthly contactless card spending passed the £2 billion mark in July – 19% of all card payments were made using contactless technology during the month.

Meanwhile, across Europe, contactless shoppers are also more open to using other payment methods, according to Visa, including shopping using a retail app or using a mobile device to pay for a meal.

“In Europe, we’ve recently seen Apple Pay launched in the UK, France and Switzerland, Samsung Pay has launched in Spain and Android Pay in the UK," said Jenkins. "We’ve also seen a new era of wearable payments: smartwatches, wristbands and even clothing. It’s clear that this trend will continue to accelerate, enabling consumers to choose the connected device that fits with their lifestyle.”

He added: "The uptake of contactless cards has made a significant impact on normalising digital payments in the minds of British consumers, regardless of age. The near-ubiquity of contactless card usage is gradually helping everyone engage with newer ways to pay, including mobile banking."