You've been redirected from to In March 2021, Mobile Payments Today became a part of Payments Dive. For the latest payments news, sign up for the daily newsletter.

Study: Consumers prefer mobile pay

Due to COVID-19, contactless payment technology has been in high demand and has shown significant growth for both consumers and businesses. Appetize recently released its Appetize Contactless Technology Survey, in which it polled 2,081 people ranging in ages from 18-70 in the U.S. on the impact that COVID-19 has had on their decisions and experiences at restaurants, stadiums and holiday shopping, as well as their preferences pre-and post-pandemic in regards to contactless technology.

According to the survey, over 74% of Americans used their phone to order and pay for food and merchandise at least once a week, with nearly 48% using their phones for purchases several times a week or more.

What's the number one reason Americans use mobile ordering? Convenience. In the survey, 44% of Americans said convenience was the most important factor for ordering and paying for food and merchandise with their phone, with ease of use (18.6%) and avoiding going into stores (18.3%) as additional factors.

According to the survey, more than half of Americans (54.8%) used their phone for online retail (i.e.: Amazon); 25% used it for food app/restaurant delivery and 9.3% used their phone for in-store purchase, such as "tap to pay" at checkout.

Although mobile ordering has been on the rise in America, 55% of consumers still prefer using credit cards, and 16.37% prefer payment using a mobile phone.

Restaurant trends

As more restaurants pivot to contactless technology to accommodate consumers, 75% of Americans think restaurants are doing enough to offer contactless payment technology and only 13% Americans believe restaurants are not.

When it comes to the technology offered at restaurants, almost half (45%) Americans preferred to view the menu, order, and pay with their phone rather than interact with waitstaff during COVID-19 and 40% would want to continue doing so once the pandemic is over.

If self-service kiosks were available 44% of consumers wanted to use self-service kiosks the next time, they visit their favorite restaurant, versus 23% who said no.

As for quick-serve restaurants, 71% preferred self-service kiosks over interacting with a person and 19% responded that they preferred a person.

What do consumers want to see on their next visit to a restaurant? Tap-to-pay at checkout at the counter (43%); mobile ordering directly from their car in the parking lot (40%); curbside pick-up (38%) and waiters with handheld devices (34%).

If restaurants offered a brand loyalty program, nearly half of Americans (48%) would dine there versus 14% that would not and 32% that weren't sure.

The most important factor for Americans to join a brand loyalty program? Discounts and special offers for future visits (54%); free food (27.5%); reaching a certain tier in a program (10%) and getting news and updates (5%).

The survey also covered social distancing at stadiums; the desire to use contactless ordering at concessions and the desire to use self-service kiosks.

Holiday shopping trends

If contactless payments were offered through mobile ordering, self-service kiosks or tap-to-pay cards 49% of consumers would shop in-store. If contactless technology was available at their favorite store, restaurant and venue, 44% would use mobile ordering; 20.3% would use tap-to-pay cards and 18.5% would use self-service kiosks.

Overall, 58.5% of Americans said they were more likely to support a business if it offered contactless payment, with 36% of Americans saying they were neither more likely nor unlikely to support a business with contactless available.

During COVID-19, credit cards (55%) was the preferred method of payment versus mobile phone (16%), tap-to-pay cards (13%) and cash (12.5%). While 73% of Americans have paid for some merchandise, food, beverages or services with cash since COVID-19, 41% of Americans paid less frequently with cash during COVID-19.

Once the pandemic is over, 77% of Americans said they will prefer to pay for merchandise, food, beverages and services with contactless payments.