Friday, 17 June 2011

Pay by phone, not by cash

Almost one quarter (23 per cent) of people are interested in using their mobile phone ito pay for purchases, according to a survey by YouGov and take-up of what is being called “wave and pay” technology is expected to be rapid.

Forget cash, use your mobile instead

However, while five per cent of those surveyed claimed that they would get the technology as soon as it's available, 48 per cent said they won't be rushing out to swap their real wallet for a mobile phone-based alternative. 

When it comes to awareness levels, more than a third (36 per cent) of respondents admitted they didn't know if their existing phone was enabled to make cashless payments with a technology known as Near Field Communications (NFC). 

Russell Feldman, a YouGov Consultant behind the research said that many consumers were attracted to the idea of paying via their mobile phone and that retailers, mobile operators and handset manufacturers have a real opportunity to educate consumers about the advantages of paying for goods and services in this way. 

"We believe that once people have seen it in practice they will be quick to adopt it," said Feldman.

The top perceived benefits of a mobile phone-based payment system are convenience to pay (87 per cent); the speed of paying (67 per cent); easier than carrying cash and cards (67 per cent); better for the environment (37 per cent); less chance of losing personal information than with paper receipts (35 per cent); and being able to keep track of spending more easily (29 per cent). 

The main reason for respondents not planning to use mobile payment in the future is that they are happy with the way they pay now (67 per cent). There are also concerns about security and fraud (56 per cent), and some respondents say they either don't need a mobile payment system or aren't interested (both at 45 per cent). 

However, 44 per cent are concerned about viruses or 'malware' and even those already planning to adopt the new technology have concerns over security and fraud (79 per cent). Viruses and malware are also top worries for this group (66 per cent). 

According to Feldman, there will always be consumer concerns about adopting any new technology, He argued that consumers need to be certain that these genuine worries have been addressed before they fully embrace the idea.

"Our research suggests that consumers see using NFC technology as inevitable, and they are expecting supermarkets, mobile phone and consumer electronics retailers to be the first to offer contactless payments.”

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