UK shoppers keen on mcommerce

04 October 2011

LONDON: Most UK consumers are interested in mobile commerce, but smartphone users clearly constitute the channel's most attractive target audience, a study has found.

Simon-Kucher and Partners, the consultancy, polled 316 adults in the country, 86% of which owned a smartphone, versus 14% using more traditional feature phones.

Currently, 23% of the former group used a mobile "wallet", like that offered by Google, to complete transactions, falling to just 11% of interviewees in the latter category.

But 58% of respondents were interested in making payments via a wireless handset, and a further 31% would not "rule it out" should such services be made available.

More specifically, 62% of people with an iPhone or alternative agreed they wanted or needed these tools, and 30% might consider using them.

Figures here stood at 32% and 36% respectively for consumers with less-advanced gadgets, according to the study's findings.

The most popular potential method for undertaking transactions was a "tap and pay" system, mentioned by 65% of the entire panel, and 70% of smartphone users.

Another 51% of the entire sample would buy goods at home by opening an app and transferring money. The smartphone audience logged 55% here, ahead of 30% for individuals with more basic devices.

Elsewhere, 40% said paying for goods in-store by transferring money on their phone was appealing. Again, this proportion peaking at 44% among the smartphone community.

"Smartphone users to have a distinct mindset," said Ben Snowman, a director at Simon-Kucher and Partners. "For mobile payments to take off, banks, telecoms providers, merchants - all the beneficiaries - would do well in promoting the uptake of smartphones."

In all, some 34% of consumers would favour meeting a fixed charge to download a mobile "wallet", and then make payments of any size until this amount had been run down to zero.

A 22% share expressed a preference for paying monthly fees to support such services, while 17% may opt to pay a set fee per transaction.

Data sourced from Telecompaper/Simon-Kucher and Partners; additional content by Warc staff