Mobile payments are beginning to make their mark on the US retail market. Starbucks is one of the biggest players in the space with over 10 million users actively using their mobile payment and loyalty application, an app that accounted for more than $1 billion in sales during 2013.
However apps such as Starbucks, Google Wallet, ISIS, PayPal, LevelUp are just the tip of the iceberg, with new mobile payment options popping up on a near daily basis. Regardless as to the name or benefits of the application, most mobile apps leverage one of 4 types of methods for accepting and sending payments - NFC (or tapping the mobile device near the point of sale), presenting a QR Code to a scanner located at the point of sales, scanning a QR Code located at the point of sale, and direct payments sent from one mobile device to another.
According to the Q2 Mobile Wallet report from Nielsen, 40% of mobile wallet users state that they use their mobile devices as their primary form of payment. One of the more interesting aspects of the report is on the methods consumers are leveraging when using their smartphones or tablets to purchase goods or services.
The impact of the major mobile players is clearly seen in the report, as the method employed by Starbucks of scanning a QR code at the point of sale is currently used by 45% of mobile payment smartphone users. However the report also offers contrary evidence to those that feel NFC is dead with a surprising 37% of individuals stating they have used the technology to make a purchase.