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Almost two-thirds of consumers would avoid making payments through their mobile using technologies such as NFC, according to research from VoucherCodes.co.uk.

The survey of 2,000 British adults found that 60% would avoid mobile payments altogether while 17% would be interested but would be worried about the technology working correctly.

Security concerns (36%) were the most common reason for avoiding mobile payments.

Mobile payment brands also appear to be making little headway in raising consumer awareness.

Over half of respondents (55%) were unable to name a single brand, while 20% had heard of Google Wallet, 12% knew MasterCard PassPay and 10% Visa payWave.

But while awareness of Visa’s NFC product is low, it is still the brand consumers would consider the safest bet for handling mobile payments.

When asked which brand they would trust the most Visa came top with 30%, followed by PayPal (20%) and Mastercard (18%).

In contrast Apple was the brand of choice for just 6% of those surveyed, Google for 4%.

It's interesting that consumers trust PayPal above Mastercard, presumably due to its reputation as an provider of online payments.

This reflects the mountain the likes of Square have to climb to beat PayPal in the reputation and awareness stakes.

The eBay-owned company recently launched PayPal Here which allows merchants in the US to accept credit card payments through a smartphone app. It is also trialling a cardless payment system at Home Depot stores in the US.

Overall the study indicates that mobile payments have some way to go before the technology catches on, which isn't the best news for VoucherCodes.co.uk as it predicts that NFC is going to be key for the voucher and affiliate industries in the future.

David Moth

Published 28 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1690 more posts from this author

Comments (3)

Steffan Aquarone

Steffan Aquarone, Owner at Droplet Online Ltd.Small Business Multi-user

It's interesting that people reach for the security answer when accounting for the lack of uptake in mobile payments.

Another big (perhaps hidden) reason is lack of incentive. Perhaps carrying credit cards around just isn't a big enough problem for people to get excited about mobile alternatives.

Since most of the mobile money platforms on the market are just 'credit cards on your phone' their benefits don't go much further than this.

Charging stuff to your mobile phone bill is interesting - but will the mobile networks manage to commoditise mobile payments when they've already failed to protect their SMS revenues from data-driven smartphone apps like iMessage?

I'm co-founder of Settle, a mobile payment platform that's about to enter private beta. Settle operates an entirely mobile money system completely outside of the banking & finance system. This means we can do stuff that's waaaay cooler than credit cards on your phone - and offer something to merchants that's transaction-fee free.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens this year now Barclays have got the tanks out on the lawn. All the bets are on that there is space for a nimble, independent technology platform to come in with a kick-ass product that either achieves mass adoption faster than anyone else, or is flexible enough to become the de-facto platform for mobile payments, whichever service is used at either end.

Watch this space (and if you're interested in joining Beta, you can sign up at http://settleapp.com).

over 4 years ago

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Simon Taylor

This is a very welcome reality check for Mobile Payments, which are at the peak of the Gartner hype cycle.

Mobile Payments are where location technology was in 2010. "The next big thing", "Will Facebook buy Foursquare?"... The reality is without serious network effects these things take time to come through.

The two major changes in credit card technology in the past 50 years are

1) The switch to Mag Stripe & Real time Authorisations (Do you remember those awful clacker machines which took a paper imprint of your card?)

2) In Europe the switch to "Chip and Pin" EMV technology.

Both of these were industry wide, compliance and regulatory changes for the market. Driven by the need for greater security and a liability shift. Neither of those is likely to happen any time soon with contactless and Mobile.

On the consumer side, contactless is a solution without a problem. A new technology must be 10x better than what came before, and I'm sorry but Mobile Payment's in their current form just aren't 10x better, in the way that cards were 10x better than cash.

When you look at this through the eyes of the banks... they feel they need to do "something" with mobile but aren't sure what. P2P from Barclaycard is an interesting opening salvo, because the bank business case for cards has always been cutting out the cost of managing cash... When it comes right down to it, for something to get mass adoption, it must be cheaper AND better than what came before...

If you look at Japan, they've had contactless and Mobile since 2004. Yet only 18% of eligible consumers regularly use Mobile Payments (NTT Docomo).

The question is, where is the compliance argument? Where is the merchant incentive? Where is the consumer incentive? What is the business case for the bank?

Until those questions have solid answers, and aren't clouded by statistics from emerging markets that lack payments infrastructure... then Mobile Payments is on a slight incline.

over 4 years ago

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Bill Loller, VP, Mobile at Tealeaf Technology

It is interesting to see that 36% of respondents still cite security concerns as a reason to avoid making mobile payments. The use of mobile for payments and also for m-commerce is a trend that is surely set to grow. Any company looking to exploit the potential of mobile needs to ensure customers are comfortable using these new emerging technologies. And that means focusing on giving customers a positive experience. We've recently launched a new product that gives companies like Sky Bet the ability to really understand how customers are using mobile websites and apps as well as the obstacles they encounter (http://bit.ly/H0blJk).

over 4 years ago

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