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UK consumers shunning m-payments

21 May 2008  |  8293 views  |  0 smartphone screen with graph

Just one per cent of UK adults use their mobile phones to conduct banking, bill payments or shopping transactions, according to research commissioned by IT services firm Unisys which found that a hefty 80% are not even interested in using m-payments services.

The survey of 978 UK adults by International Communications Research found that only 12% of UK adults would consider using their handset for online transactions.

Around 73% of respondents said they would not consider using their handset for online transactions, while seven per cent said they would not use a mobile device at all for anything.

Security concerns were found to be a major hindrance to take-up of mobile services, with just five per cent considering mobile handsets offer a "very secure modality". Nearly a quarter (23%) think mobiles are "somewhat secure", while 32% think mobiles are "not very secure". Around 24% felt mobiles were "not secure at all".

When asked which service provider would provide the best security for mobile transactions, over half of respondents (52%) cited banks, compared to just seven per cent that said online retailers. Around seven per cent also cited telecos as having the best security. However, 15% say no organisation has good enough security.

Neil Fisher, vice president, identity management, Unisys, says: "The take-up of mobile payments is predicted to grow exponentially over the next few years. These findings suggest that telecoms providers, banks and retailers will be challenged to convince the public of the security of this new method of payment."

In contrast to the worries about mobiles, only 33% of UK residents are extremely or very concerned with the security of traditional online transactions, down from 39% in August 2007. Nearly a third (32%) are not concerned about shopping or banking online at all.

However identity theft is still a major concern for Brits, with 86% worried about unauthorised access to or misuse of personal information. Misuse of credit and debit card information is a concern for 84% of respondents.

"Identity theft and fraud is clearly an important and growing problem that is costing banks and the public a huge sum of money and distress. Consumers, governments and businesses need to address this growing problem, not least by being vigilant and taking measures to protect themselves," says Fisher.

The UK study is part of the Unisys Security Index which polled 13,296 people across 14 countries.

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