More and more users worldwide are expressing a desire to pay for goods on their mobile and are willing to ignore their concerns over security. China leads the way with almost one in two having bought something via mobile in the last six months.
New research by Accenture shows that nearly half (45%) of the most active mobile device users would welcome the opportunity to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone, despite the fact that 73% expressed significant privacy and identity theft concerns.
To gain insight into consumers’ practices and attitudes regarding mobile commerce, Accenture surveyed so-called “tech forward” consumers from 11 countries — early adopters of digital devices that connect to the Internet — who use at least four Internet-connected devices and at least four Internet services.
Consumers in Asia were the most enthusiastic about mobile commerce. Overall, 69% of survey respondents in Asia indicated they favored using mobile phones for most payments, led by Chinese consumers (76%) and India (75%, followed by Korea (56%) and Japan (47%). Outside of Asia, the next highest positive response was in Brazil, where 70% of consumers favoured using mobile phones for most payments. In the US and Europe, combined, however, only 26% of respondents favored using mobile phones for most payments.
When survey participants were asked if they had used a mobile phone to make purchases in the past six months, nearly half (47%) of tech forward consumers in China indicated they had, followed by Korea (42%) and Japan (33%). Depending on the geographic region, tech forwards are also in the early stages of using barcode or near field communications (NFC) technology to interact with their shopping environment. In Asia, 38% of consumers surveyed had scanned a product’s barcode while shopping to get additional information; 36% had displayed a “digital ticket” for admission to an event or to board a flight; and, 31% had purchased an item or received a coupon from a “smart poster” containing an electronic tag or barcode.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the global respondents indicated that using a mobile phone for payments makes them worry about their privacy. Seventy percent said that mobile phone payments increase the risk of identity theft and fraud.
“Mobile commerce – which encompasses mobile banking, such as checking balances or paying bills over a mobile phone, plus coupons, promotions, redeemable gift cards, loyalty points, and more – is poised to drive huge changes in the way we shop and pay for goods and services,” said Andy Zimmerman, director, mobility services, Accenture. “We can expect a convergence of traditional and alternative currencies, and it has huge implications on the entire in-store retail experience. While the survey indicates there are issues to address in terms of privacy and security, these findings are good news for mobile network operators because consumers have requirements they look to operators, technology vendors, or financial institutions to address.”
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