Smartphones Replace A Lot … But Americans Aren’t Getting Rid Of Their Wallets Just Yet

It's becoming a lot more common in some other countries, though. Smartphones Replace A Lot … But Americans Aren’t Getting Rid Of Their Wallets Just Yet

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If you’re old enough to remember a time before smartphones (or you’ve just heard your share of “back in my day” stories from your parents), you’re probably keenly aware of the ways that these gadgets have cleaned up a lot of clutter.

They’ve consolidated cameras, address books, flashlights, music players, gaming systems, GPS, alarm clocks, and so much more into just one handheld device. Oh, and we suppose you could also make phone calls with them.

But a substantial number of people — particularly in the U.S. — haven’t yet made the switch from plastic cards and paper money even though digital wallets are ready and willing to replace them all.

Let’s look at the numbers

Pollsters recently asked respondents whether they have used their phone’s digital wallet over the past month and more than one-third of Americans said they hadn’t.

The numbers become even more telling in response to a question regarding frequent use. A paltry 13% of U.S. respondents reported having used their digital wallets during the previous 24-hour period, suggesting that even though a majority of Americans use theirs, they don’t do so frequently.

Then there’s the elephant in the room. PayPal is far and away the most popular choice, reaching nearly 70% of those who use any sort of digital wallet. That makes it more than twice as popular as a number of its closest rivals. Among Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, Google Pay and Apple Pay, none of them cracked the 40% mark.

Wallets around the world

While many Americans are reluctant to ditch their physical wallets, those living in some other countries are far more receptive to the idea.

China and India are the clear leaders, according to the poll: 95% and 93% of adults, respectively, said they’d used a digital wallet within the previous month.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee November 14th, 2023
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