January 11, 2013

Data point: Wide generational gap in openness to new mobile tools

Posted by: in North America

In the near future, as smartphones proliferate and become ever more utilitarian, the devices will consolidate unique identifying details (e.g., banking info, car keys and health data)—phones will become Mobile Fingerprints, one of our 10 Trends for 2013. Tech advances are frequently ahead of consumer demand or acceptance; in this case, our research found that while Boomers may balk at the idea, a majority of Gen Xers and a large percentage of Millennials are open to using their mobile phones as wallets, keys, health consultants and more.

Last November we surveyed 1,016 adults in the U.S. and U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, and found the gap between the older and younger generations to be substantial. Two-thirds of Millennials are very or somewhat open to using their phone as a wallet, compared with only about a quarter of Boomers. And while 84 percent of Millennials would consider using their phone to track aspects of their health, fewer than half of Boomers would do so. We see a similar gap when it comes to using the phone as a key.

To capture the savvy and generally more affluent early adopters of innovations like the mobile wallet, financial service providers and retailers will need to be proactive, rolling out mobile payment capabilities, creating mobile-friendly loyalty programs and so on.

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