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December 17, 2014

Smartphone Users Take to Mobile Payments for Travel

By Esther Hertzfeld

Thirty percent of U.S. smartphone owners plan to use mobile payment offerings such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet for shopping in stores this holiday shopping season, according to a consumer survey.

According to Ann Arbor, Mich.-based dynamic credit card firm Stratos and its research partner AYTM, seventeen percent of the people surveyed said they thought they’d spend more because they were using mobile payments. Twenty-eight percent of people surveyed said they would use mobile payment at a hotel.

"Our research shows that while American smartphone users would like to use their smartphones to pay for gifts at department stores, they are less likely to want to use the same system to pay at a hotel, upscale restaurant, or a bar,” Stratos CEO Thiago Olson said.

Interestingly, however, a clear majority (69 percent) of smartphone users said they weren’t sure which stores would actually accept the type of mobile payments they use, reports Venture Beat.

With its roll out of Apple Pay last week, Priceline.com rolled out its Apple Pay last week, becoming the largest booking site to integrate the technology. Priceline.com is using Apple Pay for customers seeking to book an Express Deal, where you know the hotel rate but not the hotel’s identity up-front “with a single touch via Touch ID on their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3,” Priceline.com states. “The new app will allow Handoff from mobile device and desktop to facilitate multi-screen engagement.”

“Sixty-five percent of our customers are booking less than 24 hours in advance,” said John Caine, Priceline.com’s chief product officer. “They’re likely already in the city where they’re staying. One of the biggest hurdles is figuring out that credit card.”

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