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P2P Payment Transactions to Exceed $120 Billion This Year

Meanwhile, mobile payment apps are being adopted in smaller numbers

July 18, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

The use of mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as Venmo in the US will continue to grow by double digits through 2021, according to eMarketer’s latest mobile banking and payments forecast.

The transaction value of US mobile P2P payments will grow 55.0% this year to $120.38 billion. This figure is on pace to double by 2021.

In 2017, 63.5 million US adults will use a P2P payment app at least once a month, equating to nearly one-third (32.6%) of smartphone users.

US P2P Mobile Payment Transaction Value, 2016-2021 (billions and % change)

This year in particular, use of P2P payment apps is expected to grow considerably with the rollout of Zelle—a network of more than 30 banks (including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase) as well as credit unions that will allow banking customers to transfer money to others within the network. It will be rolled out over the next 12 months.

“Mobile P2P payments have been driven by the desire for convenience, on-demand payments and the widespread adoption of smartphones,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. “Strong double-digit growth is expected in both the number of users and transaction volume, as consumers become more familiar and comfortable with mobile payments and as more players enter the market.”

Meanwhile, mobile payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are being adopted in smaller numbers in the US. This year, the total US proximity mobile payment transaction value will grow 78.1% to $49.29 billion. Average spending per user will reach $1,026, cracking $1,000 for the first time.

US Proximity Mobile Payment Transaction Value, 2016-2021 (billions and % change)

Due to the long-established use of credit cards in the US, mobile payments will not see widespread adoption in the near future.

In 2017, 48.1 million Americans ages 14 and older will have used a mobile payment app at the point of sale at least once in the past 6 months. While that’s nearly a quarter (23.0%) of smartphone users, the figure will grow only slightly to 30.8% by 2021.

“There are two main reasons mobile payments have not yet taken off in the US,” Liu said. “On the merchant side, not enough have implemented the technology to process the payments.”

“On the consumer side, many Americans are simply happy with their existing payment methods and don’t see a need to switch,” she added.

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