Study: Consumers Prioritize Convenience over Security When Making Payments

Study: Consumers Prioritize Convenience over Security When Making Payments

October 24, 2019

Consumers are motivated by convenience and ease when it comes to choosing a payment method, according to PSCU's annual Eye on Payments study. The results differ from last year when consumers ranked convenience and security as top priorities. 

The research aims to examine payment preferences among credit union members and other financial institution customers (“non-members”) and how they have shifted over the past year. PSCU surveyed more than 1,750 credit union members and non-members from across the United States.

“This year’s Eye on Payments study revealed insightful findings on how and where consumers are making payments right now,” said Tom Pierce, chief marketing officer at PSCU, in a statement. “With the continued proliferation of goods and services available online, convenience emerged as the main driver of consumer payment preferences this year, even trumping security. We also saw an increased preference for debit cards to complete transactions, including for online channels and in-app payments, as consumers across generations appear to be selecting budget-friendly options over building up their credit card debt.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • Sixty percent of respondents reported convenience and ease of use as the main drivers behind their choice in payment method for both credit and debit cards. 
  • While convenience and ease of use were ranked as most important, security and safety are still influential factors. Nearly four in 10 consumers agree they make decisions about how to pay for something based in part on which is the most secure.
  • Nearly 96 percent of all survey respondents report making online purchases at least a few times per year, with 57 percent of credit union members and non-members making an online purchase at least a few times per month. Overall, respondents prefer to pay for online purchases, order-ahead food and streaming services with a debit card.
  • Mobile wallet usage is on the rise, with three out of every 10 survey respondents reporting they use a mobile wallet to make purchases and nearly half using their mobile phones to make payments or do banking. Mobile wallet usage is even higher among the younger generations: Six in 10 Gen Z and Millennials report using a mobile wallet, with almost half using the technology at least a few times per month.

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