Millennials Leading the Transition to Mobile Payments

The use of mobile payments is expected to grow approximately 210% in 2016, reaching a transaction total of $27 billion. But who is driving this surge in mobile payments?

Elavon North America President Guy Harris weighed in on the different spending habits of baby boomers versus millennials.

“There are a number things going on from a generational perspective as well. So, I think it’s interesting to look at millennials and their attractiveness towards technology versus boomers.  If you think about where the spend takes place, the spend takes place typically with the boomers because that’s where the money is.  Millennials will be the people that spend the most money in 10 years’ time,” Harris told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

Harris says millennials are leading the way in adopting the mobile payment technology.

“But adoption of technology is the other interesting aspect to it. Millennials are much more comfortable using their mobile phone and the real battle I think that is taking place is between, it went from cash to wallet, now it’s wallet on the phone and that’s the interesting play that we’re seeing,” said Harris.

Harris discussed the concerns of consumers that the technology works and that businesses use the technology.

“Adoption is the challenge and when we look at adoption, it’s the ability to take your phone and know that whenever you try and use Apple Pay, or Samsung, or Android that the person or the merchant that you’re going to will actually take that pay. There’s nothing worse than pulling your wallet out or a mobile wallet out and saying, ‘Do you take Apple Pay?’ In my case they say, ‘Apple pie?’” Harris said.

Harris also explained the factors holding back the transition to mobile payments, such as the fact that many are still making the transition from cash to credit cards and the mounting concerns over cyber security.

“You have to recognize that the conversion from cash to cards is still the major play taking place in the U.S. and that will continue. The other aspect is security. It’s interesting in terms of different people’s view of how secure is their payment and with the breaches taking place in the industry it’s important that we focus on EMV and then the encryption of data,” said Harris.