US consumers turn to digital payments for online purchases

More than 70% of online shoppers across the US have used digital payment services including mobile wallets, one-click checkout buttons and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps, research released by American Express reveals, with 41% “always or sometimes” choosing to use digital solutions when they pay.

American ExpressThe 2017 American Express Digital Payments Survey — based on the responses of 1,020 consumers and 401 US merchants — also reveals that 18% of consumers are “very likely or somewhat likely” to use voice-activated services to make a purchase in the future.

20% of the consumers surveyed say they are not currently carrying any cash in their wallet, and nearly half (46%) say they rarely or never use cash for making purchases. Among the merchants that currently offer cash/check payment options to their customers, 36% are very likely to go completely cashless, while 31% are somewhat likely to do so.

81% of the merchants surveyed view online and mobile sales as the channel with the “biggest growth opportunity for their business,” the survey finds, while 71% of merchants say the proportion of their annual sales generated through online and mobile channels has increased over the previous year.

However, of consumers who have made three or more online purchases in the last year, 37% say they have abandoned an online purchase because they did not feel their payment would be secure. 73% of merchants say their level of fraudulent online sales has increased or remained the same over the past year.

“Digital innovation is enabling consumers to buy from merchants when and where it’s most convenient for them,” says American Express’ Mike Matan. “But the results of our survey show that for merchants to capitalise on consumers’ continued shift to online and mobile commerce, they need to provide their customers with the confidence that their information is secure.”