Monday, 21 May 2012

Wake me up before you Mo Co! - Mobile payments exceed cheques

If, like me, you are a long way off from thinking that Mobile Commerce is a mainstream payment method, then thonk again, because a  recent study undertaken by ACI Worldwide and Aite Group – where smartphone usage in 14 countries was put under a microscope – shows that mainstream Mobile payments are already here (more prevalent in some markets than others of course!!).

The study identified a group of consumers where mobile payments behaviour is the norm and this group was classified as “Smartphonatics”.
According to this research, 80 percent of Smartphonatics have used their smartphones for mobile banking, just one-third of non-Smartphonatics report doing so. 70 percent of Smartphonatics have used their smartphones for mobile payments; under 25 percent of non-Smartphonatics have. Smartphonatics are generally younger consumers also: 36 percent of Generation Yers (between the ages of 20 and 31) are Smartphonatics as are nearly one-third of Generation  Xers (ages 32-46). The number drops significantly among both Baby Boomers (ages 47-65) at 18 percent and Seniors (66+) at six percent

Ron Shevlin, Senior Analyst, Aite Group states: “Smartphonatics enthusiastically use their smartphones when they shop for products and services as well as when they interact with their banks. It is quite clear they are an emerging consumer force. Smartphonatics are driving the adoption of mobile banking and payments and will be an agent for change. Financial and retail institutions will need to adapt or risk being left behind."
The ACI/Aite research indicates that around 1 in 4 consumers globally count as Smartphonatics, with higher numbers found in India and China than in the United States and Europe. This follows through as markets such as India and China have mobile payments competing head to head in the growth of other payment methods such as cards, which are still relatively new for the majority of the population.

In Asia, however, mobile payments have been mainstream for the best part of a decade. Japan sets the benchmark for mobile payments with 47 million Japanese adopting tap-and-go phones. In 2013, China alone, will have 169 million users of tap-and-go payments. Between 500 million and 1 billion people will access financial services by mobile by 2015, depending on various estimates. The mobile financial services market will be dominated by Asia, driven by mobile operator-led initiatives in developing markets to bank the unbanked. Remittance and transfers by mobile is growing three times faster than mobile banking. Mobile remittances are a form of mobile payments, essentially mobile-led P2P.
MasterCard’s study of Mobile Payment readiness which we commented on last week, revealed that whilst the USA is ‘mobile ready’, 9 of the 10 countries most prepared for the technology are in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

So, if Mobile Payments are indeed exceeding cheques, what in fact constitutes a Mobile Payment? The seven primary models for mobile-enabled payments:

1.       SMS based transactional payments

2.       In-App Payments

3.       Direct Mobile Billing

4.       Mobile commerce and/or web payments

5.       Peer-to-Peer payments

6.       Virtual currency payments

7.       Contactless payments

It would appear that around half of the developed world has made a mobile payment of some sort in the last 12 months according to this criteria – at a minimum an in-App purchase made from a mobile or iPad would qualify (that means my children at 10 and 8 can be included in the figures….)
So the question today is not, Have you ever made a Mobile Payment? but, how on earth have you managed to avoid making one?

To view jobs in the card and payment industry, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment