Merchants must take the lead in driving digital wallet adoption and growth.
That’s according to research conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by JPMorgan Chase. It looks at the current state of the digital wallet from both consumer and merchant perspectives.
The study looks at the prevailing attitudes of consumers right now concerning digital wallets – including whether they consider them safe, whether they use them and if not, why they don’t.
Forrester also asked merchants what barriers they face in implementing digital wallets.
The report concludes that merchants hold the key to driving growth. By providing a positive experience, offering the value-added services associated with digital wallets, and educating their customers about the benefits to them, they can help push adoption forward.
“Consumers want convenience, simplicity and speed, security, and value-added rewards and benefits,” the report said. “Merchants and their payment technology and processing partners who pay attention and offer these benefits will gain consumers’ business.”
The research attributed digital wallets’ slow growth to a handful of factors. It said that the consumers it studied preferred traditional payment methods. Consumers who use digital wallets like them, the study said. (69% of users reported that digital wallets were their favorite payment method.) But only 4% of those who said they do not use digital wallets expressed any interest in trying them.
Consumers also continue to question the security of digital wallets. 46% of the respondents who do not use digital wallets said it was because of their concerns about security.
While payments inertia and security concerns are common reasons cited for digital wallets’ slow growth, the study also reported that consumers just aren’t familiar with the benefits the wallets offer.
Only 38% of the consumers surveyed said they were “informed” about digital wallets. Fewer than one-third said they knew about features beyond “faster checkout,” such as “cash back / statement credits” and “coupon / offers storing and redemption.”
“Offering another way to pay is not going to be enough to attract users,” the report said. “Merchants need to educate consumers about value-added services that extend beyond the payment moment to create opportunities for closer engagement with their customers.”
Merchants cited the difficulty and costs associated with upgrading their current system as some of the main reasons they did not yet accept digital wallets. Smaller merchants, which the study defined as less than $20 million in annual revenue, were the most concerned about cost, with 39% saying that was their biggest barrier.
The same percentage said their customers weren’t asking for the capability, the report said.
The researchers surveyed 1,500 consumers over the age of 18 who go online at least weekly. It also surveyed 804 merchants who make payment decisions for their companies.