Retail Banking Insights & Strategy

The latest research and news across retail banking and payments

Mobile Payments – its not about payments

RFi recently asked 2000 UK consumers a few questions in regards to mobile payments – we only touched the surface, but this is what we found.

Smart phone penetration

57% of people surveyed own a smart phone.

Which phone do they own?

30% Apple iPhone
20% HTC
14% Nokia
13% Blackberry
11% Samsung

NFC enabled mobile phone penetration

Currently 22% of smart phone owners surveyed have a phone with NFC – the majority of these owning the Blackberry Bold 9900.

Who can use their phone for NFC mobile payments now?

0.9% of survey respondants can use their phone for payments.

Now the sample size gets small here, but of that 0.9%, half of them either never have or rarely use their phone to make in-store purchases. We define rarely as less than five times total.

So why, if this group can use their phone for NFC-based mobile payments, aren’t they?

We asked smart phone owners the appeal of having various mobile money features on their phone.

The most popular was the ability to receive coupons or offers by tapping your phone against in-store promotional stands and posters with 52% of smart phone owners rating it favourably.

The least popular was the ability to pay for goods in-store via contactless payment terminals with 39% responding favourably.

Mobile Payments Feature Appeal

Click on this image to see how consumers rate the appeal of various mobile money features


These statistics shouldn’t be ground-breaking for those developing / delivering a mobile payments service.

BUT it does confirm the assumption that for NFC-enabled mobile payments to succeed payments alone will not drive adoption and usage.

A careful blend of features including both payments and commerce services (i.e. offers & coupons) should begin to form the foundation of a more appealing consumer proposition.

Equally, it is as important to understand this does NOT mean payments role is any less important than coupons or offers.

Payments will play a critical role in delivering the value of a mobile money proposition to consumers, it’s just that consumers wont recognise or attribute value to it.

If you are interested to know more about the research RFi has planned for mobile payments in 2012 please email me

NOTE: These statistics were taken from a consumer survey focused primarily on mortgages and the sample only includes those who own or intend to take out a mortgage.


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