Mobile Payments Survey: Apple Pay Leads Google Pay in Usage and Interest Among Millennials & GenZ in 2018

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Mobile Payments Survey: Apple Pay Leads Google Pay in Usage and Interest Among Millennials & GenZ in 2018

In our own anecdotal experience, we're noticing mobile payment options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay (formerly known as Android Pay) popping up in more in-store locations. We've also seen a growing number of e-commerce websites that support Apple Pay when you're using the Safari browser.

Mobile shopping, mobile payments, Millennials, and Generation Z shoppers are all top of mind for us as we've been rolling out our influencer marketplace and social shopping platform. Obviously, young adult users are the early adopters of new paradigms like influencer commerce and social-media driven shopping and are the focus of our research.

In this quarter's field study, we decided to survey Millennials and Generation Z shoppers and ask them about their use of mobile payments, in particular emerging mobile payments technologies such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, as well as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

We ran our survey during February 2018 using Google Market Research. We surveyed 1,000 people total - 500 Millennials (females and males aged 25 to 34) and 500 Generation Z (females and males aged 18 to 24). We refer to this entire cohort (males and females between the ages 18 to 35) in this summary as "young adults." We've compiled our results here and included some of our raw data and charts below.

Key findings from the survey

Overall, we found a higher adoption of Apple Pay among young adults than we expected. Most of what we've been reading indicates lackluster adoption of Apple Pay in general, but our research indicates that this trend may be changing, especially among users between 18 to 35. Apple Pay dominates in usage and interest / affinity among young adults per our survey.

15% of young adults have used Apple Pay to pay while shopping online

First, we were surprised that 15% across both demographics have used Apple Pay to pay for items online. Given that most websites don't support Apple Pay yet, this seemed high. We believe that the majority of these cases involve paying for items through iOS mobile apps that connect to Apple Pay, indicating strong use of Apple Pay within native iOS applications.

10% of young adults have used Apple Pay to pay in-store

In-store, a surprising 11% of Millennials and 10% of GenZers have used Apple Pay to pay for items in the checkout line. Apple Pay (10%) was significantly more popular than rival payment platforms such as Google's Android Pay (4%) and Samsung's Samsung Pay (2%). However, credit card and PayPal remain the dominant forms of payment (actual and preferred) for online shopping.

We also asked how these groups send money to friends and family. PayPal and Venmo remain the leading options here, while Square's Cash offering is the leading emerging platform. Millennials have the highest interest in using Google Wallet, followed by Apple's new Pay Cash platform for sending money to friends. Generation Z showed the highest preference to use Apple Pay Cash.

Use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to pay for things still low

We also asked these cohorts about their use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to pay people or pay for goods. 7% of Generation Z and 5% of Millennials reported having tried this.

Detailed findings 

Below we've included a more detailed summary of our key findings from our survey, plus included charts to show the raw data from responses.

Summary of findings

  • Of the emerging payment platforms, Apple Pay has the highest usage (11%) and interest (6%) among Millennials and Generation Z respondents. This compares favorably against Google Pay (4% usage, 3% preference) or Samsung Pay (2% usage, 2% preference)
  • Apple Pay leads Google Pay in usage and interest among Millennials & Generation Z
  • For sending money to friends, PayPal leads in usage among Millennials (25%), while Venmo leads among Generation Z (23%)
  • For sending money to friends, both Millennials and Generation Z respondents showed highest affinity for PayPal
  • For shopping online, credit card and PayPal dominated among both cohorts, with Apple Pay leading the emerging platforms

Key findings for use of mobile payments while shopping in-store 

We asked Millennials and Generation Z respondents whether they have used mobile payments to pay for things in-store.

Generation Z responses:

Millennial responses:

  • 11% of Millennials and 10% of Generation Z have used Apple Pay to pay in-store (vs. 4% and 3% for Google Pay)
  • 7% of Millennials and 5% of Generation Z say Apple Pay would be their most preferred option for checking out in-store (vs 2% and 3% for Google Pay)

Key findings for use of mobile payments while shopping online

We asked Millennials and Generation Z respondents whether they have used mobile payments to pay while shopping online or on their phones.

Generation Z responses:

Millennial responses:

  • 15% of Millennials and 15% of Generation Z have used Apple Pay to pay when shopping online (vs. 9% and 9% for Google Pay)
  • 11% of Millennials and 12% of Generation Z say Apple Pay would be their most preferred option for checking out when shopping online (vs 4% and 5% for Google Pay)

Key findings for sending money to friends and family

We asked Millennials and Generation Z respondents about the tools they've used to send money to people they know.

Generation Z responses:

Millennial responses:

  • 25% of Millennials and 17% of Generation Z respondents have used PayPal to send money to friends and family
  • 23% of Millennials and 23% of Generation Z respondents have used Venmo to send money to friends and family
  • 42% of Millennials and 36% of Generation Z respondents would most prefer to use PayPal to send money to friends and family
  • 28% of Millennials and 32% of Generation Z respondents would most prefer to use Venmo to send money to friends and family

Use of Apple Pay Cash to pay friends and family is low

  • 3% of Millennials and 3% of Generation Z respondents have used Apple Pay Cash to send money to friends and family
  • 8% of Millennials and 12% of Generation Z respondents would most prefer to use Apple Pay Cash as a way to send money to friends and family

Use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a means to make purchases or pay people is still in its infancy

Millennial responses:

Generation Z responses:

  • 5% of Millennials have used Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to buy something to pay someone
  • 7% of Generation Z users have used Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to buy something to pay someone

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This guide was published on February 26, 2018, and last modified on February 26, 2018.
Stores related to this article: PayPal, Venmo, Apple

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