Mobile payments are surging, especially among Baby Boomers

The US is slowly returning to normal as more of the population becomes vaccinated. As comfort levels with dining out or going to bars grows, establishments need to be ready to accept mobile payments. New data from restaurant point-of-sale firm Oracle Food and Beverage shows that 73% plan to reduce their use of cash, and 49% want to reserve their table, order, and pay through a mobile device.

Contactless payments became somewhat normalized during the pandemic, not only for convenience but also for sanitation. Interpret’s New Media Measure® points to a surge in mobile wallet usage in just about every age bracket. Year-over-year, the number of consumers with a mobile wallet account grew to half of Gen X and nearly 60% of Millennials, while Baby Boomers posted the most growth, almost doubling their usage. Older individuals can have weaker immune systems, so it’s possible that the older generation felt a greater need for mobile payments during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Interpret data finds that Google Pay has a slim lead over Apple Pay in terms of consumer penetration, and each has about twice the share of competitors such as Samsung Pay or Chase Pay. That said, there should be opportunity for all to expand their share as more of the population heads back to retail, events, dining establishments, and more. “We live in a convenience driven society. Being asked to wait for a credit card to be processed and to sign a paper check at the end of your evening feels old fashioned and out of step with the digital ecosystem we’ve all grown accustomed to,” commented Harry Wang, Senior Vice President at Interpret. “As our economy begins to recover, retail and the food service industry must be prepared to meet customers’ expectations. Those who adapt quickly to mobile payments will come out ahead.”