Mobile payments take-up mixed in Europe

17 November 2011

PARIS: Consumers in Russia and Turkey have proved quicker to adopt mobile payment and commerce tools than their counterparts in nations like the UK and Germany, a study has found.

MasterCard, the financial services group, commissioned Ipsos MORI, the research firm, to survey 8,088 people in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Turkey and the UK.

To date, 31% of Russians had completed a transaction using a mobile phone, a figure standing at 13% for Turkey, in second place on this measure, ahead of Spain with a score of 11%.

The Netherlands and Italy were further back on 8%, beating Germany's 7% uptake level, the UK's 6% penetration rate and France's even more modest 4%.

"It is perhaps no surprise that countries like Turkey - known to be early adopters of new technology - are using the newest methods of payment," said Jorn Lambert, MasterCard's group head, emerging payments region lead, Europe.

However, 47% of the current user base in the Netherlands leveraged these tools on a daily or weekly basis, followed by Germany and Russia on 44% apiece, making up the top three here.

When discussing contactless payments, Russia again led they way with 12%, bettering Turkey's 10%, and the 9% logged in each of Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. Italy posted 6% here, with the UK yielding just 5% and France delivering 4%.

By contrast, ecommerce uptake was most prevalent in mature economies, as 78% of British and Dutch shoppers bought items in this way, reaching 70% in Germany and 64% when discussing France.

Turkey came next in the rankings on 62%, surpassing the 60% engagement achieved in Spain, 57% when looking to Italy and 49% in Russia.

However, cash remains the most common form of payment in most markets, along with credit, debit and stores cards. Cheques, however, are utilised by more than 50% of French and British buyers.

Looking ahead, 58% of existing users of contactless payments in Britain, 56% of their Spanish peers and 53% of their Russians counterparts anticipated making more use of contactless payments going forward.

These totals came in at over 40% in the Netherlands, Turkey and Germany, but stood closer to the 30% mark in France and Italy.

Elsewhere, 57% of Spanish and Dutch consumers agreed with this statement for mobile payments more broadly. Figures hit 46% in Turkey, Russia and the UK on this metric, versus 38% in Germany and 36% in France.

"One thing is certain - as consumers continue to drive the move towards more convenient, faster payment technologies, the use of mobile, internet and contactless payments is only set to rise," said Lambert.

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff