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Europe warms to payment apps

News, 10 April 2015

AMSTERDAM: Just over half (51%) of European adults with access to a mobile device expect to use mobile payment apps over the coming year, but trust is the biggest barrier deterring others, a new global survey has revealed.

Dutch banking group ING polled 14,800 consumers in 13 European countries, plus the US and Australia, and found people in Turkey to be the most enthusiastic about the technology.

More than three-quarters (78%) of Turkish mobile users intend to use a mobile payment app in the next 12 months and over half (56%) have already used one.

Poland followed with 43% of Polish mobile device owners saying they have used a payment app and another 67% saying they intend to do so within a year.

However, ING found the uptake of mobile payment apps is more gradual across some of the stronger European economies.

Just a quarter of people in Germany (23%) and France (25%) have made a payment via a smartphone and tablet, a proportion that drops further in Luxembourg (20%), Belgium (20%), Austria (18%) and the Netherlands (13%).

There is a similar level of uptake in Australia (22%), but higher usage in the UK (30%), Spain (35%), Italy (39%) and the US (42%) where 58% of American respondents also say they intend to use a payment app in the coming year.

Nearly half of Europeans who have embraced mobile payments say the technology helps them "feel more in control" of their finances with one-in-five (20%) saying they have never missed a payment since using mobile banking.

However, of those Europeans who have not used a mobile payment app, a full 42% express concern about trust and how their data is used.

Elsewhere, the survey found that despite the launch of Apple Pay and Google Wallet, only 9% of respondents have used these or other "digital wallet" services.

Commenting on the report, ING senior economist Ian Bright, said: "While physical cash still has its place in society, mobile payment apps are giving consumers greater freedom when it comes to managing their finances.

"The instant visibility offered by mobile banking also means more consumers feel in control of their finances, claiming to have avoided missing payments and keeping on top of bills."

Data sourced from ING; additional content by Warc staff