Mobile calendars, mobile tickets, mobile streaming — and now the world is ready to embrace mobile payments in a big way. What does that mean for your rewards? Digital is in! Which means you can finally stop sending plastic prepaid incentive cards and gift cards by snail mail.
Considering the number of mobile phones and devices worldwide neared 15 billion in 2021, adoption of mobile payments was slow. But with the help of the pandemic, contactless options have seen an incredible jump in usage.
Here’s proof that virtual payments are becoming exponentially more popular, along with a few benefits for you.
When Apple rolled out its Apple Pay service in 2014, only 3% of U.S. retailers accepted contactless payments, the Wall Street Journal reported. Now the number is at 90%, according to Apple. Likewise for shoppers: Only 10% of iPhones had Apple Pay activated in 2016, but the percentage reached 50% in 2020 and currently stands at about 75% — and continues to increase.
Apple’s mobile payment competitors have found a significant following as well. In Statista’s 2022 Global Consumer Survey, 57% of U.S. respondents said they had used PayPal in the past year to pay with their smartphone at a store or restaurant, and 41% said they had used Google Pay. Globally, 76% of consumers said they shopped using PayPal at least once in 2020, 63% used a digital gift card, and 55% used a digital wallet, according to the Global Digital Payments Insights report from Blackhawk Network Payments EQ.
With younger generations leading the way, the trend is very likely to continue. When Statista’s survey asked in what situations consumers would like to be able to pay with their smartphone, 30% said “all the time.” In Blackhawk’s study, when asked why they like digital wallets, 51% said “I can use my smartphone for everything” and 37% said “I can use it in-store and online.”
In addition, it’s not just the use of the digital wallets themselves that consumers love. They also are increasingly using such tools as a way to store their prepaid incentive cards and gift cards in one place. A third of consumers said that whenever they receive a gift card, they load it into a mobile wallet, according to Fiserv’s 19th annual Prepaid Consumer Insights Survey.
All these statistics prove that your recipients are leaning into mobile payments, but they aren’t the only ones who benefit. By giving the people what they want — namely, virtual incentives and gift cards — you can streamline and automate your reward delivery, save money on shipping costs, and more easily encourage participation from international audiences. Prepaid incentive cards from Visa and Mastercard can be redeemed in more than 150 countries, making them ideal rewards for global surveys and programs. And since they’re sent via email, you won’t need to worry about expensive overseas shipping.
Read more about one more major benefit of digital incentives: Their delivery can be easily automated when you integrate your survey and rewards tools, cutting admin time and eliminating manual processes.