by Leo Molatore
April 27, 2017

Nowadays, it has become breathtakingly easy and convenient to buy something. Whereas, not too long ago, you needed to physically visit a store and until recently, the only thing you needed to shop was a desktop PC with internet connection. Now you can simply reach into your pocket and purchase pretty much anything from anywhere in the world.

Because of this, mobile commerce and mobile payment is not only a mega-trend, but has become a part of everyday life. This is why the current “Mobile Money Report” by Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) takes a closer look at m-commerce, mobile payments and mobile banking around the world. Nearly 6000 persons in 9 countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa UK and US) have been asked whether they use mobile money and if so, how.

Here are 7 of the report’s key findings:

1. M-Commerce: What do people purchase with their mobile phones?

Nearly everybody does it: Of all interviewees, only 22% stated that they haven’t purchased anything via mobile phone in the last 6 months – but on the other hand, an overwhelming 78% has.
This is what people buy with their smartphones (or why they don’t) – with the rate of change between 2014 and 2016:

What have people purchased via mobile phone in the last six months?

2. How come China leads the world in mobile transactions?

The Land of the Rising Sun combines two important factors that make it the number one country worldwide in terms of m-commerce: it is both a mature economy and a mobile-first nation.
The mature m-payment ecosystem has been mainly built by innovative providers like Alipay and WeChat. While on global average, 31% make purchases via an app, in China it is 47%. And an impressive 88% of Chinese customers have made a purchase from their phone.
But also other emerging or developing countries such as India, South Africa or Nigeria show a very high rate of mobile transactions. This is how many of the interviewees stated they have made a purchase with their smartphone in the last 6 months:
Mobile Payments - mobile transactions

78% shop mobile – and China is the worldwide leader of mobile transactions

 

3. What puts potential mobile shoppers off?

However, not every customer makes it through straight to the check-out – even though they had very specific purchase intentions. In the past, 58% of people have at least once started to pay for something via mobile – but then they abandoned it before the end.

But why? These are the main reasons:

Mobile Payments - mobile payment process abandon

4. How exactly do customers pay with their mobiles?

There are many ways to pay – also when using a smartphone. The study revealed that most people still do it the “traditional” way by typing credit or debit card details in a mobile website.
But the importance of several other – and more convenient – mobile payment methods is increasing rapidly, mainly charging to the mobile phone bill, payment via an app or via mobile wallet such as Apple Pay.

Mobile Payments - how people pay for items or services

5. How many have paid via mobile wallet in a shop?

Globally speaking, in 2016 nearly every fifth person (i.e. 18%) has done it at least once in the past – while two years before only 8% had.
Apple Pay certainly was a key factor for this growth. But in China – who leads the rank by far with 38% – this is specifically thanks to the great popularity of Alipay and WeChat.
However, even though mobile wallets have hardly become mainstream yet, we see a clear growth, thanks to the avove-mentioned big players plus others such as Android Pay, Samsung Pay etc.

Mobile Payments - mobile wallet in a shop

 

6. How many trust mobile payments to be safe?

When it comes to payment, trust is key. A lack of trust can be a barrier to mobile payment adoption: Mobile payments are fundamentally safe, certainly safer than most “analogue” forms of payment. Yet most people believe the opposite: They would rather hand their card to a waiter in a café than store their credentials in an app.
This belief is unreasonable as for a fictitious waiter, it would be relatively easy to steal credit card details. On the contrary, app-based payment is mostly handled by intermediaries that tokenize the card credentials, i.e. transform them into a random string that can be recognized by the card network only but is useless to hackers.
This means that people’s thinking on security is muddled – but the problem is only one of perception.

Mobile Payments - which processing method do pepole trust most?

 

7. How widespread is Mobile Banking today?

In brief, it has moved to mainstream.
61% use their mobile to bank, with 48% preferring apps to do so. Take a look at which aspects of mobile banking people mainly carry out:

Mobile Payments - mobile banking

MEF CEO Rimma Perelmuter concludes:

“The adoption of mobile money continues to advance. In developed markets, mobile payments and banking are driving a revolution in convenience. In growth markets, they are giving millions of people access to financial services for the first time.
It’s important that the industry builds on this momentum. The research shows we can still do more to improve payment flows, improve consumer trust in mobile money to allay privacy and security concerns. But overall, the news is good: mobile remains the key driver of online commerce.”

tl;dr? – Mobile Money Report findings in a nutshell:

  • An overwhelming 78% of people shop mobile
  • China is the world leader in mobile transactions thanks to widespread, innovative providers like Alipay and their status as a mobile-first nation
  • 58% have already abandoned the mobile payment process, mainly because they have been asked too much sensitive information
  • When purchasing items or services via a mobile phone, people mostly type their card credentials into a mobile website, but more and more of them charge it directly to their mobile phone bill or pay via an app
  • As for paying with a mobile wallet in a shop, China is again clearly in the lead, but other countries are catching up
  • People have serious trust issues about storing their card credentials in an app – but they are simply ill-informed
  • Mobile banking has become mainstream – 61% of the interviewees do it

Would you like to read the complete report?

Download it here for free:
https://mobileecosystemforum.com/mobile-money-report/