PayPal dominates mobile payment brands, but Apple Pay makes ‘significant gains’

PayPal -- followed closely by Amazon brands -- retains its Brand of the Year designation, leading mobile payment brands for the third consecutive year. However, up-and-coming brands Venmo (owned by PayPal), Square, and Apple Pay are making “significant gains,” according to new research from The Harris Poll's 29th annual EquiTrend Study.

The study measures brand health over time. Harris Poll's study reveals the strongest brands across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant, technology, household and nonprofit industries based on consumer response.

The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors -- familiarity, quality and purchase consideration -- that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend "Brand of the Year" award for their respective categories. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands (including 64 financial services brands) across more than 450 categories.

Harris Poll's research indicates that millennials are familiar with a broad array of mobile payment brands (42% versus 19% among baby boomers), giving a boost to the category's overall brand equity. Additionally, younger generations (millennials and Generation X) are more connected to Amazon's mobile payment brands than they are connected with PayPal, and in general, have a higher perceived quality of the mobile payment category. Specifically, among millennials, PayPal and Amazon are challenged by Apple Pay and Square on quality ratings.

The 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 102,617 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between Dec. 30, 2016 and Feb. 21, 2017.