News & Views - Savantor

More mobile initiatives

Monday, 16 May 2011

Electronic or digital wallets have been around in various forms for some time but seem to be undergoing a new lease of life recently.  Visa has just announced a digital wallet launching in the US and Canada this autumn.  The digital wallet will store Visa and non-Visa payments accounts and support NFC letting customers complete transactions online, with their mobile, on social networks and at the point-of-sale.  A survey from TNS has also shown that take-up of mobile wallets, where handsets are used to store money is increasing, albeit slowly, with adoption in the US moving from 6% in 2010 to 8%. In Singapore the rise was from 10% to 13% and in Hong Kong it was 16% to 17%.

There has been a 55% surge in the global use of mobile financial services in the last year, with emerging markets, notably China, driving the growth.  The survey shows that markets such as China, Brazil and Kenya have seen the number of new mobile money users rise over 100% in 12 months.  In China, 25% of those asked now use their handset for money matters, up from 10% in 2010. In Brazil there has been a rise from 10% to 21%, in the US 11% to 22% and the UK 10% to 20%.  China is now predicted to soon be the largest mobile payments market in the world by 2013 with 410 million users.

Other initiatives show the mobile is the way to go with BoA offering overdrafts by text, LTSB launching its mobile phone payment testing later this year and ING launching a feature which lets iPhone users transfer money to each other by tapping their phones together.  Mobile banking may even be a revenue earner with 18 – 26 year olds prepared to pay for it!

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