Allpoint Blog

Familiarity Breeds Indifference for Mobile Wallets

So says the collective collegiate student body in America in reaction to mobile wallets, according to OnCampus research from the National Association of College Stores.
As reported recently in a PaymentSource article by David Heun, the OnCampus research, which encompasses feedback from 16,000 students from more than 1,100 campuses in the U.S. and Canada, establishes that university students have been willing to give mobile wallets the good ‘ol college try:
"About 55% of students said they were either very familiar or somewhat familiar with mobile wallets. Of those, nearly 50% said they had used Google Wallet, while 36% said Apple Pay. Only 13% of students mentioned Android Pay, the successor to the original Google Wallet."
Not so surprising, perhaps; college years generally involve exploration and experimentation. Plus, though the definition of Millennial is not wholly agreed upon, by many measures today’s student population includes a healthy helping of that famously tech-savvy demographic group. But, as the article points out, mobile wallet developers would do well not to bank on college students being their devoted early adopters. One big shrug of the shoulders – that would seem to be their reaction after a sampling:
"But they [college students] remain cautious about using mobile wallets as a payment method, with 58% saying they do not plan to use a mobile wallet in the next year...
...Of those who provided an explanation for their aversion to mobile wallets, 42% said they preferred traditional payment methods, 40% said they had no interest in mobile wallets, 37% said they were not familiar with mobile wallets and 35% said they did not think the technology is secure."
And what about traditional payment methods? If survey respondents, in notably large numbers, reported no interest in mobile wallets, where does the payments interest of college students reside? Recently, a Cardtronics-Edelman Berland survey found that while more than half (57 percent) of Millennials reported using a greater variety of payment methods than before, nearly half (45 percent) of that group also said that they're more likely to pay more with cash now than they did a few years ago.
Cards? Yes. College students are choosing traditional payment cards over mobile wallets, but as the data above demonstrates, it’s cash over mobile as well. Adding to the mound of evidence, the same recent PaymentSource article reported similar cash findings by the OnCampus research:

"Cash remains popular with college students, with 34% saying they used it sometimes, 31% using it often and 6% saying all of the time."

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines indifference as: absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another.
In all likelihood, mobile wallets will grow into and capture a segment of the crowded payments landscape in America – a landscape in which consumers of all ages embrace multiple payment methods for their consumerism. For the time being, however, college students join the rest of America in looking the other way when a mobile wallet passes by.
Overview by Nick Pappathopoulos, Director of Public Relations

Read the full PaymentSource article here.

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