NÜRNBERG: Consumers around the world like the idea of mobile payment but issues around trust and technology are proving barriers to it being widely used according to a new survey.
GfK polled 17,000 consumers in 17 countries (Canada, US, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Australia) for its FutureBuy report and found that cash and cards were still used for the majority of transactions (46% and 45% respectively).
Just 5% of retail transactions were made using a mobile device and 27% of consumers said they preferred to make payments with their mobile wherever and whenever possible.
Some 28% of respondents were making mobile payments two to three times a month, which, GfK suggested, showed "significant potential to achieve more widespread adoption".
As in so many things digital, emerging markets appeared to be ahead of the game, with appetite and use significantly higher in Asia Pacific: 46% of respondents there had paid by mobile during the previous six months, rising to 83% in China and 62% in Korea. The average was dragged down by Japan, where only 10% had made such payments.
Latin America (39%) and Central and Eastern Europe (35%) were also ahead of the mature markets of the US (33%) and western Europe (24%).
Trust is a major issue holding back the development of mobile payment. Only one quarter of all respondents thought that mobile payments are 100% secure.
Latin Americans have significantly more confidence in the safety of mobile payments (35%), as do younger consumers – one third of 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds felt their payments were secure compared to a quarter of 35-49 year olds, and 15% of those aged 50-68.
And more than one half of respondents (57%) worried that personal information could be compromised when using a mobile payment app.
Nor is the potential convenience of mobile payment being realised by current technology, as the survey reported 45% of respondents describing it as "clunky and developing".
The fact that relatively few retailers have adopted the technology was another barrier to use for a significant number of consumers.
Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc