US Mobile Payment Users 2019

User Growth Slows, but Transaction Volume Surges

Mobile Payments

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More than 1 Billion People Worldwide Will Make an In-Store Mobile Payment in 2020

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Executive Summary

Usage for proximity mobile payments and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments is relatively strong in the US, though it lags behind leaders in Asia and Northern Europe. However, the volume and average transaction size for both are growing rapidly.

How many people in the US use mobile payments?

We expect that 64.0 million individuals in the US, or 29.0% of smartphone owners, will make a proximity mobile payment in 2019. Some 69.2 million will make a P2P transfer via a mobile phone, which translates to roughly a third of smartphone users.

Which companies are the leading proximity mobile payment service providers in the US?

Apple Pay is the top proximity payment provider in the US, accounting for roughly half of users. For P2P payments, Zelle has continued to build on its lead from 2018. Many consumers, however, use multiple services for both P2P payments and mobile proximity payments.

How does the US rank globally?

In terms of proximity mobile payment user penetration, the US ranks sixth in the world among major economies. The prevalence and ease of use for credit cards have impeded the spread of mobile payments in the US.

How will better mobile payment tools influence usage?

Several major retailers have introduced mobile payment platforms in their mobile apps, and credit card companies are promoting the expansion of near field communication (NFC) technology with the introduction of contactless cards. Both moves should boost mobile payments in the years ahead.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report will break down our forecast for mobile proximity payment and P2P payment usage in the US, the factors behind their adoption and key players in the market.

KEY STAT: This year, the number of US proximity mobile payment users is expected to reach 64.0 million, a 9.1% increase over 2018 and representing 29.0% of smartphone users.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Proximity Mobile Payment Users and Platforms in the US
  3. The Rise of P2P Payments
  4. Retailers Are Embracing Mobile Payments
  1. Contactless Cards Could Boost Mobile Payments Adoption
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Stephanie Meltzer-Paul
Dunkin’ US
Vice President, Digital and Loyalty Marketing
Interviewed September 26, 2019
Thomas Olsen
Bain & Company
Interviewed September 26, 2019
Brian Shniderman
Equity Principal and Global Leader, Cross-Industry Payments Practice
Interviewed September 26, 2019


Yoram Wurmser


Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Research Manager, US