3 Things That Can Make Mobile Wallet Adoption Grow in the U.S.

Could your application help to drive consumers toward the convenience of tap-and-go payments?


Mobile wallet contactless payment transactions are quick, easy and secure. Thanks to near-field communication (NFC) technology, a mobile wallet on a smartphone can communicate payment information to a card reader. All the consumer has to do is turn on the phone, open the app, and tap it or wave it near the reader.

Consumers around the world have embraced tap-and-go payments, which streamline payment transactions and save time. The notable exceptions are U.S. consumers, which have a comparably lower rate of mobile wallet adoption.

3 Keys to U.S. Mobile Wallet Adoption

Based on lessons learned in other parts of the world and current payment trends, there are at least three drivers that will increase mobile wallet adoption:

1. Awareness

U.S. consumers have numerous options for payment, so directing focus on a relatively new option can be a challenge. Mobile wallet awareness got a boost from an unexpected event, however: the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Most payment options require touching cash, a card or a PIN pad. Paying with a mobile wallet, however, is a contactless form of payment – and one that more U.S. consumers have looked into and used since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In a recent DevPro Journal podcast, P.J. Tierney, Vice President – Integrated Payments for EVO Payments, reported that EVO Payments has seen a 60 percent increase in NFC transactions from late February to mid-June. He added that about 80 percent of those transactions are on mobile wallets, with the remainder contactless card payments. 

2. Comfort

Consumers won’t use a form of payment if they aren’t comfortable with it. Finding ways to get people used to a new type of payment technology, however, can be a challenge. When it comes to mobile wallet adoption, millennial and Gen Z generation consumers may be more comfortable than their older counterparts, since they have probably used their smartphones to send money with Venmo or PayPal. But that process is different than an in-person mobile wallet payment.

Taking a look at other countries’ mobile wallet adoption stories, a simple type of payment may be enough to create a sense of comfort. India, now the world’s largest mobile payment market, can trace its beginnings back to purchasing soda from vending machines. In the UK, contactless payments took off after the London Transport System began accepting them. Once people have a chance to use contactless payments, they’ll develop a higher degree of comfort with them.

3. Merchant Acceptance

Although ISVs don’t have much control over the first two mobile wallet adoption drivers, you ensure that consumers can use contactless payments at your clients’ businesses. Merchants who upgraded their payment technology to be able to accept EMV payments likely have the hardware they need to also accept mobile wallet payments.

Partner with a payments company that enables you to integrate your software with a feature-rich platform that gives your clients contactless payment functionality, as well as the ability to accept the full range of other types of payment. As a trusted advisor, you can also help educate merchants and their teams on how to create great contactless payment experiences for their customers. 

Learn More

Considering that the U.S. is just catching up with the rest of the world with mobile wallet adoption, you may need to educate yourself a little more about this form of payment. Find a payments partner that offers a solution with a comprehensive feature set, learn about mobile wallets and other forms of contactless payments, and integrated their platform with your solution to give your clients this capability.

You may even be able to blaze new trails in verticals, such as petroleum and gas, that are just now mandated to update their payment technology. Your solution just may be the key to building greater awareness and comfort with mobile wallets that leads to widespread U.S. adoption.


EVO Payments provides secure, reliable EMV payment integrations to the POS market. Our experienced developer support team makes sure your solution gets integrated and to market quickly and successfully. Sterling has more than 400 ISV integrations, provides international opportunities, and has lucrative partner referral programs.