New Data Highlights Generational Use Of Mobile Payment Apps

June 7, 2018

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2018 -- Use of peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment apps, such as PayPal and Venmo, vary significantly by generation, according to a new survey from The Manifest, a B2B news and how-to site. 

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of millennials (18 to 34 years old) regularly use P2P payment apps to pay for food and drinks, compared to approximately 10% of older generations. Baby boomers (55 years and older) more frequently use P2P payment apps to pay for physical items, such as clothing and furniture. 

The survey found over half (51%) of millennials regularly use P2P payment apps for purchases overall, compared to 48% of Gen Xers (approximately 35 to 55 years old). 

PayPal Reigns, Though P2P Payment App Users' Definitions May Be Confused 

PayPal is the most regularly used P2P mobile payment app for nearly 75% of users surveyed. 

Although PayPal is widely used, experts suggest its popularity in a P2P payment app survey may be the result of confusion by those surveyed over what "peer-to-peer" means. 

"You can use PayPal to pay for things all over the internet or at businesses," said Zach Drews, head of business development at Blue Label Labs, an app design, development, and marketing agency. "I wouldn't consider all of that peer-to-peer. I don't know anybody who uses PayPal peer-to-peer like that." 

PayPal is better known for its online business transactions, compared to its subsidiary P2P payment brand, Venmo, which ranked second in popularity (14%) in the survey. Both apps offer convenience and flexibility for payments. 

"A mobile peer-to-peer payment app is easier than using a credit card, especially for group purchases," Drews said. 

The Manifest surveyed 511 U.S. smartphone owners to determine trends among popular app categories including social media apps and food delivery and restaurant loyalty apps. The latest survey focused exclusively on P2P mobile payment apps. Overall, the survey found that nearly half (46%) of smartphone owners regularly use P2P mobile payment apps. 

The data suggest that P2P payment apps influence how and when people, particularly millennials, expect payments. When sending money is as easy as clicking a button on your smartphone, people may be less likely to cover a coffee or meal with the expectation that "it will even out in the end." 

Read the full report here:

For questions about the survey, a comment on the findings, or an introduction to the industry experts included in the report, contact Riley Panko at

About The Manifest  
The Manifest is a B2B news and how-to site that compiles and analyzes practical business wisdom for innovators, entrepreneurs, and small and mid-market businesses. Use The Manifest as an approachable tour guide through every stage of the buyer journey. With three main offerings—data-driven benchmarks, step-by-step guides, and agency shortlists, The Manifest strives to make your business goals a reality. 


Editor's Note: Does your micro market or vending solution offer mobile app payment? With consumers increasingly using this form of payment, it would behoove operators to consider incorporating it as well.