Mobile payments are catching on in Europe at a fast clip, as the number of consumers regularly using a mobile device for payments has tripled since 2015, according to new Visa research.
The spike in mobile payment use showed 54% of consumers in 2016 used the technology, compared to only 18% the year before, Visa revealed in its 2016 Digital Payments Study. Visa surveyed nearly 37,000 consumers in 19 different countries during August and September.
Of those numbers, 74% of British consumers say they are mobile payment users, either managing their money or making payments using a mobile device.
A year ago, 38% of those surveyed said they had never used a mobile device for payments and had no plans to do so. This year, only 12% fell into that category, Visa said.
Of the countries involved in the study, Turkey at 91% had the highest proportion of mobile payment users, with Denmark at 89%.
Mobile payments have generally been categorized as an option for low-value purchases or as a more convenient option in quick-serve restaurant or coffee shop settings, or transportation ticketing. But Visa's study revealed that more consumers are becoming as comfortable with more expensive purchases as they are everyday payments.
In the U.K., 43% said they purchase high-value items such as electronics on their mobile device, while also making regular transactions like paying household bills or buying bus or train tickets.
Mobile banking is also on the rise, Visa said, as the research for the first time revealed that more than half of consumers in all age categories accessed online banking through an app.
"This data is confirmation that the future of digital payments has arrived," Kevin Jenkins, U.K. and Ireland managing director at Visa, stated in a release about the research. "Visa sees smartphones and wearables as the beginning of a broader trend, with millions of connected devices making it simple, safe and secure to integrate daily commerce transactions into almost any technology."
With Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay making inroads into Europe, Visa expects to see the mobile payment trend continue to rise, Jenkins added.
Other countries in the study were Norway, Ireland, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Israel, Finland and Belgium.