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Beyond Routine: Research Indicates Digital Payments Are Now ‘Second Nature’ for Consumers

Payments players have suspected for the past two years that digital payments were becoming increasingly routine, but now research is indicating they may have become “second nature.” That’s the term Marqeta Inc., the card-issuing platform, used Thursday in announcing the results included in its latest research paper, entitled “2022 State of Consumer Money Movement.”

The study, which earlier this year surveyed 2,011 U.S. consumers and a roughly equal number of users in the United Kingdom and Australia, found that mobile-wallet usage is increasing steadily. Some 71% of U.S. respondents said they had used a wallet in the past 12 months, up from 64% in a similar survey in late 2020. The increase “demonstrates that the surge in mobile-wallet usage post-pandemic is increasingly cementing itself and growing further,” Oakland, Calif.-based Marqeta says in its announcement of the survey results.

Helping drive the trend in mobile wallets is the fact that more merchants are accepting them. Some 78% of the U.S. consumers said they could conduct a digital-wallet transaction “everywhere they wanted to,” while 56% indicated their confidence in acceptance was such they could leave their leather wallet at home and carry only their mobile phone.

Other results of the research underscore the quickening pace of the trend toward digital forms of payment. Some 49% of U.S. consumers indicated they were using peer-to-peer payment apps like Zelle or Venmo more often than they were a year ago. Meanwhile, three-quarters are using on-demand delivery apps for food, up from 65% in 2020.

The results of the study may reassure payments providers that the digital options widely adopted during the pandemic are no passing fancy. But they also present a challenge. “Companies building new payment tools need to be as forward-thinking as today’s consumer to meet them where they are in the market, thinking outside the lines to create new experiences that can surprise and delight, and create lasting customer relationships,” said Vidya Peters, Marqeta’s chief operating officer, in a statement.

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