News & Views - Savantor

2012 the tipping point for mobile payments?

Thursday, 31 May 2012
A recent Gartner survey has suggested that the worldwide value of mobile payment transactions is set to jump 62%, from $105.9 billion in 2011 to $171.5 billion this year.  In addition, they predict the number of mobile payment users will reach 212.2 million in 2012, up from 160.5 million last year.  Intelligent environments have also carried out a survey which shows that UK consumers who own a smartphone are increasingly seeking convenient solutions to meet their busy and demanding lifestyles. Half of workers (49%) and students (47%) admitted they would be interested in using their mobile device, if possible, to swipe across a payment reader to ‘wave and pay’ for goods or services.  Perhaps more significantly this is set alongside statistics indicating that in the UK 51% of the population now own a smartphone compared to a 33% one year ago. Android continues to be the most popular operating system, accounting for 36% of the smartphone market compared to the iPhone’s 31% and BlackBerry’s 15%.
Another report by Juniper Research showed that more than 1 in 4 of US and Western European mobile phone users are set to use their NFC-enabled mobile phones to pay for goods in-store by 2017, compared with less than 2 percent in 2012, a recent report has revealed.  The report has warned, however, that NFC retail payments services must be deployed with a fully integrated and tested customer care channel. Since NFC payments are a complex fusion of mobile, financial and retail technology, a single point of contact to take responsibility for resolving a problem quickly and efficiently must be established or users will desert the service.
Perhaps the most important announcement from the UK perspective is that The Post Office is to roll out contactless payment terminals across 30,000 counter positions in its national network of over 11,500 branches.  Use of smartphones may start to pick up this year but given how long the cards have been out there it would be good to see them being used more widely at last.
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Michael Liquornik, Executive Vice President - Neovia Financial - UK

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