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iPhones are replacing the checkbook for many folks, according to a study from financial services provider Fiserv. For others, particularly millennials, smartphones are also doubling as digital wallets.
More than a quarter (28 percent) of the 3,000 banking customers in the U.S. surveyed by Harris Poll on behalf of Fiserv, are using mobile bill pay services, up from 22 percent in 2015. Forty-one percent of mobile banking users reported that they paid bills with their mobile devices in the past 30 days.
The sheer convenience of making payments quickly and on the move factor into the increasing adoption of mobile payments solutions.
More than half of all mobile banking users (53 percent) cited the ability to pay bills anywhere and at any time. Mobile banking is also popular among procrastinators, revealed the study. Nearly half (46 percent) said the technology enables them to pay bills at the last minute.
Others rely on mobile alerts (31 percent) to help them pay their bills when they're due. Somewhat unsurprisingly, mobile bill pay is more commonly used by millennials (54 percent) than older users (18 percent).
Although less popular, digital wallets like Apple Wallet and Google Wallet are also changing the way consumers pay for things.
Typically, digital wallets store debit and credit card details, enabling consumers to quickly pay for online purchases or in-store items at retailers with NFC-compatible point-of-sale systems. Owners of mobile devices that feature NFC (Near Field Communication) can simply hold the device to a payment terminal to complete a purchase in mere seconds.
Only 13 percent of banking customers in the U.S. had used a digital wallet in the past 30 days, up from 11 percent in 2015. Again, millennials are likelier to use digital wallets (29 percent) compared to older users.
Even consumers who don't use digital wallets can appreciate some of the benefits. Forty-three percent were interested in the ability to turn off debit or credit cards if they are hit with fraud. Twenty-eight percent expressed an interest in withdrawing cash from an ATM without a card and 26 percent were interested in their real-time payments capabilities.
"Consumers are living more digital lives, and that is being reflected in the way they pay," said Mark Ernst, chief operating officer at Fiserv, in a statement. "Bill payments and person-to-person payments from mobile devices are making their way toward the mainstream, while digital wallets are showing slow but steady growth reminiscent of the early days of online banking."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.