PayPal beat out Amazon as it retains its Brand of the Year designation for 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, which 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.
While established mobile payment brands PayPal and Amazon continue to lead — buoyed by their online payment equity — Venmo (+8.1), Square (+7.0), and Apple Pay (+6.7) show considerable brand equity increases among consumers overall, which is significant, since brand equity tends to resist movement.
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 Financial Services Brands of the Year
Award Category Brand
Fidelity Investments Financial Services
Super Regional Bank
According to Harris Poll’s research, while PayPal holds the Mobile Payment Brand of the Year title, Amazon’s mobile payment brands, Amazon Payments (#3) and the discontinued Checkout by Amazon (#2) follow closely behind in the brand rankings. PayPal, benefiting from its history in the peer-to-peer and online space, leads all mobile payment brands in Familiarity strength and maintains a strong emotional connection with consumers.
Additional financial services findings include:
• Payment cards (brand equity score 67.1) and mobile payment (brand equity score 63.3) are the only two financial services categories in the study’s top 60 categories, ranked by brand equity scores. Payment cards is a perennial leader, with mobile payment as a fast riser. Banks and investment firms show modest movement.
• While Visa dominates the payment card brand landscape on most measures, MasterCard is closing the gap in key measures including overall brand equity and brand momentum.
• Of the top five banks (ranked by brand equity score), the top two leaders (CHASE Bank and Capital One) are national brands, while the rest are regionally based. BMO Harris makes its EquiTrend debut as Super Regional Bank Brand of the Year.
• TD Ameritrade, Scottrade and Fidelity are the top investment companies based on equity among millennials. Technology is key among this group and brands leveraging technologies have a stronger connection with this audience.
• Changing life needs means millennials are demonstrating increased interest in financial services brands. While still a challenging category to connect with, financial services holds a category equity rating of 63 among millennials, compared to an equity rating of 59 among consumers overall.