Mobile Proximity and Peer-to-Peer Payments 2018

How Starbucks, Walmart and Zelle Are Leading in Mobile Payments

Executive Summary

US proximity mobile payments continue to grow in volume and users, but at an increasingly tepid pace. Mobile payment services offered by players such as Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay have yet to unseat credit cards as the payment option of choice or reach mass adoption levels. Starbucks currently has more users than any other proximity mobile payment service in the US at 23.4 million. That’s more than either Google Pay or Apple Pay. Starbucks has built up its user base by tapping into a habitual purchase—buying coffee—while bundling its payment service with its loyalty plan. Other retailers like Walmart have also found success with their payment offerings for similar reasons.

Mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services have more users, and players like Venmo and Zelle are beginning to broaden their scope of payment offerings.

How many proximity mobile payment users are there in the US?

The number of US proximity mobile payment users will reach 55.0 million this year, and grow to 74.9 million by 2022, according to our estimates. The transaction value will also increase over our forecast period, swelling from $62.29 billion in 2018 to $160.79 billion in 2022.

How many peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment users are there in the US?

By 2022, nearly 130 million mobile phone users will use a P2P mobile payment service at least once per month, and more than half of all mobile device users will as well. We estimate that mobile phone P2P transaction value will grow by 37.0% this year to reach $167.08 billion. The forecast period will be characterized by continuing strong growth, with transaction value reaching $340.97 billion by 2022.

Why haven’t mobile payments gone mainstream?

Proximity mobile payments have not yet fully won consumers over because they still need be presented with a compelling reason to ditch their credit and debit cards. People remain skeptical of the security of mobile payments, and also confused about how to use them at the point-of-sale.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report gives an overview of our forecasts for US mobile proximity payments and US mobile P2P payments. It delves into some reasons holding up their widespread adoption and gives some examples of ways to use mobile wallets for marketing.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. US Proximity Mobile Payment Growth Is Steady, If Unspectacular
  3. Retailers Lead the Way
  4. Mobile Wallets and Marketing
  1. China’s Digital Cash Grab
  2. Mobile Peer-to-Peer Payments Continue to Grow
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Danny Ackerman
Urban Airship
Senior Director, Product Platform
Interviewed July 5, 2018
Paul Murray
Dunkin’ Brands
Director, Digital Experience
Interviewed July 9, 2018
Don Bush
Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed July 5, 2018
Ben Cavender
China Market Research Group
Senior Analyst
Interviewed July 6, 2018
Juan Benitez
General Manager
Interviewed July 18, 2018
Alisa Ellis
Vice President, Digital and Emerging Products
Interviewed July 11, 2018


Rahul Chadha