Nearly half of Canadians are keen to use smart watches and other wearable devices — from a chip-embedded finger to shirt buttons — to make mobile payments, says a new PayPal Canada survey.
Looking for insights on the ever-changing purchasing habits of shoppers, the popular secure payment service found that one-third (29 per cent) of Canadians surveyed have already made a payment on-the-go on their mobile devices, while 23 per cent have used their cell phone in-person at a store to make a purchase – and they report increasing their usage over the last year.
“Most purchases so far seem to be small everyday things like gas, coffee and snacks,” noted Toronto retail industry analyst Doug Stephens.
He said he’s surprised that 45 per cent of respondents ages 18-plus reported they “are perfectly ready and willing” to embrace the latest technology to make online purchases while on-the-run or in a store.
Other more futuristic findings include: more than a third (35 per cent) indicate they would be likely to use an Internet-enabled car to pay for gas at the pump; 22 per cent say they would use an Internet-enabled fridge to shop and pay for items directly from an online grocery store; and one in five (18 per cent) would be open to using a chip implanted in a finger that allows them to simply tap to complete an in-store payment.
The survey of 1,500 Canadians via phone and online also reveals that 22 per cent would use facial recognition technology or a retina scanner to pay for items in a store.
“The way we pay for things and the way we shop for things is going to change dramatically in the next five to 10 years, even more-so than they did over the last 10 years,” said Stephens.
Canadians are showing a distinct interest when it comes to wearable technology, the report shows, with 51 per cent saying they have heard of wearable technology — and that awareness spikes to 67 per cent when prompted with a description of the devices.
Respondents cite the potential benefits of paying through wearable devices as not having to carry a wallet or phone and being hands-free (32 per cent), not having to worry about losing a wearable device (29 per cent), and having everything in one place (28 per cent).
The report also says that 47 per cent of Canadians wish retailers offered safer and more secure mobile payment options.
Eager to marry style and function, 23 per cent of those surveyed would be likely to use a watch or bracelet to pay for in-store purchases, while 12 per cent would consider using Internet-enabled glasses to buy a store item while shopping.