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Banks hold key to mobile payment adoption

VocaLink has unveiled the Next Generation of Payments Report, an independent study conducted by Illuminas, into the mobile payment habits of more than 5,000 UK consumers.

This is VocaLink’s second analysis of transaction trends since 2013, revealing that whilst mobile banking has officially ‘arrived,’ adoption of mobile payment technology is still lagging behind.

People using their smartphone to pay

Overall, consumers valued the convenience of mobile banking and security concerns became less of an issue, the more familiar they became with the technology. This was reflected in increased uptake and more frequent use, with 46% of smartphone owners now using their device for some form of mobile banking (almost doubled from 27% in 2013).

There was a real desire to move beyond passive activity to more dynamic use. For example, although checking bank balances (passive) was still the most common activity at 31% (up from 11% in 2013), one in four mobile banking customers now use their mobile to transfer money to other people, move cash between accounts and view transaction histories on a regular basis (all up from 7% two years ago).

Despite these encouraging results for banking, mobile payment usage remains relatively nascent. Just 15% of smartphone users pay bills on their mobile device, a relatively low figure – although this is still a five-fold increase from 2013 (3%). Confusion over how mobile payments work in addition to a lack of knowledge around brands that operate in the space is also hampering adoption rates. However, there is all to play for in the mobile banking war since one in two respondents clearly identified banking brands as a key driver for them to start using mobile payment technology.

Mobile payments 2015

“Mainstream banks have the biggest opportunity, since mobile banking and payments are seen by consumers as an extension of a relationship that already exists. Respondents were much more likely to use new payment technology if prompted by their bank, as they trusted and indeed expected them to provide these services,” explains Cara O’Nions, Marketing & Customer Insight Director, VocaLink.

“The mobile payments space is still in its infancy, but this market moves quickly and we expect big changes over the next few years. Banks are uniquely placed to develop the next generation of payment services through compelling solutions that increase brand engagement and loyalty – but if banks want to take ownership of this space before one of their ambitious rivals does, they need to move quickly to make mobile payments the new norm.”

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