Some fitness bands (like FitBit), smart watches (like Apple Watch), and other wearable devices let you make mobile payments without having to find your phone; you just touch your device to a sensor at the cashier.

At this point, few people pay with these devices, but are people interested in using them in the near future? The Center’s upcoming Future of Money and Banking Study looks at interest in wearables and mobile payments, including the large gap in interest based on race or ethnicity.


  • Overall, 30% of those who don’t use wearables express some level of interest in using this technology for mobile payments in the next 12 months: 10% of those who don’t use this technology are very interested, and 20% say they are somewhat interested.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, 49% express some level of disinterest: 14% say they are somewhat uninterested and 35% say they are very uninterested.

Are race or ethnicity related to interest? Indeed they are.

  • While only 8% of white respondents say they are very interested, 16% of Latinos and 22% of African-Americans are.
  • While 19% of whites say they are somewhat interested, 23% of blacks and 27% of Hispanics express that level of interest.
  • On the other end of the scale, 14% of Caucasians, 13% of African-Americans, and 12% of Latinos note that they are somewhat uninterested.
  • While 19% of black respondents and 23% of Hispanic respondents say they are very uninterested, a notable 38% of whites responded with that extreme degree of disinterest.

On average, Hispanics and especially African-Americans who are not yet using wearables express the greatest interest in using them in the near future, and whites the least.

See all Web Insights.

October 3, 2017