Sixty-seven per cent of UK consumers have no plans to use new mobile wallet technology, claiming they are happy with the way they pay today, according to a survey by pollsters YouGov.
Interesting information which demonstrates two important issues: first that you can easily mislead the audience by talking about "mobile" when something more specific like NFC is being talked about (there are other ways to make a mobile payment which are
more "mobile" than NFC); and second that the concept of "inchoate demand" applies here - simply put that consumers won't really know what they want until they can actually use it or participate in a realistic trial. To quote Mr Feldman "We believe once people
have seen it in practice they will be quick to adopt it"...or not, of course, but the sentiment -actual use is the only true test - remains. If other mobile (non- payment) applications provide lessons it is that when presented with a convenient, useful, mobile
solution, other theoretical concerns such as security are swept away.
Well said Nick. Suggesting that 65% of respondents might use NFC to buy CD's kind of suggests the researchers were not talking to early adopters!
I think we need to remember that a few years ago, very few in the UK were aware of the possibility of doing transactions via mobile so these results actually demonstrate increased awareness of not only the availability of these type of services, but also
the perceived benefits. If we look at analyst views, most are still not drawn on the need for NFC in mobile at all but that’s not to say it will never happen; at present there are just too many other easier/quicker/lower cost ways to make that payment (which
will obviously vary country by country).
People having been using their mobile phones for long enough and making cash and card payments forever. They've also experienced the benefits of NFC in contactless cards e.g., with a laptop bag in one hand and several shopping bags in the other, it's a great
relief to pass by the Oyster Card reader and get the turnstile to open at a tube station without going having to take out their wallet containing an Oyster Card from their handbag or jacket / trouser pocket (believe me, it works!). They might wonder if using
an NFC mobile for such a usage scenario is practical.
Therefore, I'm not sure how receptive an average consumer would be to education around how to make mobile payments.
More than education, a little incentive might work wonders to spur adoption of NFC mobile payments - for example, twice the reward points for paying via mobile as against plastic. Until the resulting question of "who bears the cost of the incentive?" is
answered, I won't be surprised to see continuing apathy from banks, and hence, consumers towards mobile payments.
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© Finextra Research 2014