Popularity of Mobile Payments Growing Among Shoppers


As mobile devices become a part of everyday life, the majority of Hungarians use them for shopping and paying online. They are also curious about paying in-store with a smartphone: already a quarter of Hungarians use this solution. Consumers appreciate its speed and convenience as well as security, according to the Visa Mobile Payment Study 2022, covering eight Central and Eastern Europe markets, Hungary included.

A smartphone is all that is needed nowadays to shop online, and with its use becoming more widespread, some 74% of Hungarian consumers say they look for products and services using their smartphones, and 69% hunt for bargains with them. Some 59% of Hungarians compare prices using their mobile devices, and 62% pay for them this way.

When asked what they appreciate about online shopping with a smartphone, Hungarians mainly list convenience (60%) and speed (56%). Recognizing this consumer attitude, Visa launched the “Visa Mobile/Click to Pay” solution in the region recently for online payments based on these attributes.

Consumers can now do almost all their shopping online, which allows them to reduce the time spent in selection and checkout, and that’s where the possibility of adding a payment card to various applications comes in.

Hungarians most often pay with their phone for food deliveries (31%), streaming platforms (24%), transportation (18%) and traveling (17%), and 40% of respondents have added their card to an app. The study has shown that 76% of Hungarians aged 18-24 have added their payment cards to at least one mobile app.

As in the case of online shopping, Hungarians have come to like contactless payments with smartphones mainly for their speed (67%) and convenience (65%). Interestingly, among Hungarians who have tried using a virtual wallet instead of a traditional one, just under a quarter (24%) say they now use the standard plastic card once a month or less often.

Although just a dozen years ago, using a cell phone to pay for your shopping might have seemed like a futuristic dream, nowadays, many consumers are aware of such payment methods, and 69% of Hungarian respondents can recognize at least one solution of this type.

Daily Digital Delivery

“Until a while ago, it was unlikely someone would leave home without awallet or a payment card. Today it isbecoming a daily experience not only for Gen Z or technology enthusiasts. Already, 75% of Hungarian respondents aged 45-54 are aware that they can pay with their smartphones in stores, and 22% are taking advantage of such opportunities,” Ede Kiss, country manager for Visa Hungary, commented at a press conference publicizing thesurvey.

“At Visa, we believe that a diversity of payment methods is the way forward, and we continue to provide consumers and merchants with a choice in terms of how they want to pay and be paid,” heexplained.

“That is why, in addition to traditional cards, Visa payments can be made via digital devices such as smartphones or smartwatches, and we constantly innovate to make new and future methods, including fast, convenient, and secure mobile solutions,” Kiss added.

With the peak festive shopping season approaching, Visa research has shown that 21% of consumers in Hungary planned to make mobile payments when shopping during Black Friday events, and even more people, some 29%, are planning to do so during Christmas shopping. Some 24% of respondents said they were planning to use their smartphones to pay during the New Year’s bargain sales season.

Hungarian consumers who pay with their smartphones see security among the benefits of this kind of payment method (43% in the case of in-store payments, 27% regarding online shopping).

“About 67% of the clients of Erste Bank Hungary are digitally active, and nearly half a million of them use their phone for everyday banking,” said László Harmati, Erste Bank Hungary’s deputy CEO, also speaking at the press conference.

Active Users

“This is the most dynamically growing client segment, regardless of age or status. Of the active mobile phone users, some 200,000 people make mobile payments every day, and the most popular remote payment services are parking fee payments and settling yellow cheques with QR codes. It is no coincidence that in our developments, the ‘mobile-first’ principle is decisive, not only in residential but also in small business digital solutions,” Harmati said.

“Mobile payments, in-store or online, are one of the most secure ways to pay. All Visa payments made with a smartphone, smartwatch, or tablet are protected just like any other Visa card transaction,” Kiss noted.

“Crucially, when someone inserts their card data into a mobile wallet on a device, Visa replaces their data with a unique set of numbers. This technology is called tokenization, and it provides an additional layer of security,” the country manager said.

“From a consumer perspective, it is important that payments are secure, convenient, and easy to use, even by those with basic mobile device skills. Today, paying with a smartphone is simple and adding a Visa card to a payment-enabled mobile device takes just a few moments.”

But nowadays, it is no longer just consumers who can use smartphones for payments. Visa argues that its “Tap to Phone” solution has transformed the way essential services and small merchants can accept transactions. Sellers can now download an app to their smartphones and instantly start accepting contactless payments in a secure, touchless, and convenient experience for customers. The study shows that 56% of Hungarians would already be willing to pay by tapping their smartphone to the seller’s, which serves as a payment terminal.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of December 2, 2022.


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