Posted on October 27, 2020

Cash isn’t king? Ad filterers use mobile payment services

Featured photo

Ad filterers opt to use services Paypal, Apple Pay, Venmo, Google Pay, Amazon Payments, and Visa Checkout at a rate of roughly two times that of their non- ad blocking counterparts. That’s a lot of mobile payment service use.

And given what we know about the dynamic demographic of ad filterers—like their dependably strong online presence and their interest in discovery—it’s unsurprising that ad filterers are such avid users of a variety of mobile payment options.

The high rates of mobile payment service use reflect other defining characteristics of the ad filtering demographic—like their youth.

We know that the people who filter ads skew younger, with overwhelming representation within the Gen X and Millennial generations. And, as it turns out, these are the same people using mobile payment services, “with more than 7 in 10 belonging to the Millennial (39%) or Gen X (33%) generations.” (Source)

Not only that, but the defining features of “affluence” and “high levels of education,” two other notable traits of the ad filtering demographic, are reflected by those who choose to use mobile payment services. In fact, “compared to non-users, mobile payment users tend to have higher incomes and higher levels of education.”

Indeed, roughly 4 in 10 mobile payments users have incomes of at least $75k, almost double the proportion (22%) of non-users. And more than one-third (36%) have at least a college degree, versus one-quarter of non-users. (Source)

But there’s another common thread that links mobile payment service users as a whole and the ad filtering demographic: a similar attitude towards privacy.

What we learned while compiling our last study was that ad blocking users—95% of which are “ad filterers”—have a healthy relationship to privacy concerns. They’re wary and alert, but tend to be cautious users rather than nervous and tech-avoidant.

And, as it turns out, the largest barrier to the use of mobile payment services is that of privacy concerns. Users, across generations, are likely to pause before using mobile payment services because of fears concerning who has access to their sensitive data and information, and how it’s being used. (Source)

With the future of tech inextricably linked to addressing and assuaging fears around privacy and the use of personal data, we can only imagine that the relationship between ad filterers and users of mobile payment services will only grow more interconnected in the next decade.


In January of this year we published our groundbreaking study, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ad Blocking Users,” which drew back the curtain on the youthful, affluent, and well-educated users that have ad blockers installed on their devices.

But it turns out that there was even more to discover about this dynamic demographic.

We’ve once more consulted the trove of data that GlobalWebIndex (GWI) keeps about internet behavior and teased out more insights ad filterers, who GWI defines as “users who have blocked ads in the past month but discover brands or products through ads seen online and have clicked on an online ad in the past month.”

The result? AAX’s second study: Ad Filterers Online: Purchasing Habits and Media Consumption In The USA.

We’ll be publishing the study in full in November, but we wanted to give our followers a preview of the insights to come. That’s why, for the next five weeks, we’re highlighting our findings in a series of posts that consider some of our findings in a new light.