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Mobile payments flavour of the month for fickle consumers

22 March 2002  |  3476 views  |  0 mobile user

Nearly half of mobile phone users globally say they would like to use their mobile phones for small cash transactions such as bus, taxi or train fares or items from vending machines, according to new research from AT Kearney and Judge Institute, part of Cambridge University's Business School.

The Mobinet study, conducted twice annually by the Institute, reveals intent to use m-cash is highest in Japan at 50 per cent, 46 per cent in Europe, 43 per cent in the rest of Asia and 38 per cent in the US. However, only two percent of mobile phone users worldwide report any experience of m-cash, as the technology to perform such transactions is still in its infancy.

Paul Collins, AT Kearney principal and leader of the study, cautions: “Consumer tastes in the mobile arena are fragile, so it is imperative that the community of mobile phone makers, carriers, content providers and financial services companies rally quickly to provide mobile cash capabilities before consumer interest wanes.”

Eighteen months ago, the Mobinet Index recorded high numbers for intent to use mobile phones to access the Internet. These numbers have fallen drastically, primarily because the mobile community hasn’t provided consumers with enough reasons to access the Internet with their phones, says Collins.

Professor Chong Choi of Cambridge University, comments: “Contrary to early expectations, m-commerce is not an extension of e-commerce characterised by large volumes of Internet purchases using Internet-enabled mobile phones. It is becoming increasingly clear that m-commerce is more about multimedia messages and using the mobile phone to make payments.”

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