Digital payments surpass traditional methods in the US – Forrester

Recent data from Forrester reveals that digital payments have emerged as the predominant payment method in the United States, surpassing traditional options. The findings from 2023 highlight that a remarkable 69% of online adults in the US have opted for digital payment methods in the past three months for their purchases. This exceeds the usage of credit cards or cash, with just over half of online adults relying on these traditional means. It is crucial to note that cards often serve as the backbone of the rapidly growing digital payment landscape.

Per the research, among the myriad digital payment methods, PayPal continues to dominate the US market. The data for 2023 indicates that 40% of online adults in the US utilized PayPal in the preceding three months to facilitate their purchases. Despite maintaining a consistent adoption rate of around 40% since 2019, PayPal remains a reliable and widely embraced choice for consumers.

Contrastingly, Apple Pay has witnessed a significant surge in adoption, more than doubling since 2019. While only 24% of online adults have recently used Apple Pay for transactions, its expanding user base reflects a growing acceptance of the technology. The diverse landscape of digital payment methods offers consumers a spectrum of choices, each catering to different preferences and needs.

Notably, the ‘buy now, pay later‘ (BNPL) model, a rising trend in the digital payment realm, is still in its early stages of adoption. Despite its prevalence on retailer checkout pages, the adoption rates for leading BNPL services remain in the single digits. This indicates a gradual but steady acceptance of this innovative payment model, with consumers perhaps exercising caution before fully embracing the concept.

While digital payments surge ahead, it’s essential to recognize the foundational role that credit cards play in many digital transactions. Often serving as the underlying payment instrument in the growing digital payment scenarios, credit cards continue to be integral to the evolving financial landscape.

As we witness digital payments surpassing traditional methods, the landscape of financial transactions in the United States is undergoing a profound transformation. With PayPal leading the charge, Apple Pay gaining momentum, and ‘buy now, pay later’ gradually finding its place, consumers now have a diverse array of options. The data from Forrester underscores not just a shift in payment preferences but also highlights the dynamic nature of the digital payment evolution. As we navigate this new era, it remains to be seen how further innovations will shape the future of financial transactions in the United States.

Written by Maya Robertson


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