Half of Cell Phone Users Ready for Mobile Wallet

Trust is key in developing the application

NEW YORK -- About half of the world’s mobile phone owners are ready to use their phone to make purchases and manage money--but mobile finance players must tailor their strategies to the conditions of each market to take full advantage, according to a report from Media Online.

Use of mobile banking and mobile wallet services is set to surge worldwide as consumers respond to the promise of convenience and look past security concerns. The Mobile Life 2012 study reveals that 50% of the world’s phone owners are either interested in mobile banking services or using them already, while 45% show the same level of enthusiasm for making payments using their phone.

Mobile-wallet providers must vary their approach to the level of technology available in each market and also to reflect different triggers for adopting the services. Convenience and speed are the key drivers for developed and tier-1 emerging markets, but avoiding the need to carry cash far outstrips these considerations for tier-2 emerging countries. The stakes are raised when it comes to the consumer needs that mobile commerce addresses: lack of security and fear of being robbed, trump lack of time and fear of being inconvenienced.

Mobile Life spotlights the efforts of different mobile players battling to take control of the mobile commerce ecosystem, with interesting variations in the question of whom consumers trust to handle their payments.

Typically these bases of trust relate to the systems already dominant within the market. Credit-card companies score particularly high in developing Asian countries, where they are preferred by 30% of consumers, as well as in the heavily credit-based USA. In all territories, however, banks emerge as the most-trusted brands to handle money, the preferred choice for 53% of mobile owners worldwide. Partnership with a banking brand is likely to strengthen the appeal of a mobile-wallet service in the vast majority of markets.