MEF’s recently published Mobile Money Report supported by Wirecard, asked 6,000 consumers in nine countries about their usage and attitudes towards mobile payments.  It paints a detailed picture of how mobile money is taking hold in both growth and established markets and is available to download here for free.

The  study found that 78 per cent of us had made a purchase by mobile in the previous six months, which suggests that all but the most tech-phobic consumers have now embraced the m-commerce habit.  That figure is a global average.  There are of course differences at the country level.  China for example is leading the charge. The study reveals 88% of China’s citizens currently make mobile transactions.

Below we’ve picked out 18 statistics from the report that track the use of mobile money around the world.

Shopping is going mobile

Consumers in mature markets are switching their shopping habits from desktop to smartphone, while their counterparts in developing markets are discovering digital commerce for the first time from mobile devices.

1. 78% of people said they had made a purchase by mobile in the previous six months – up four per cent on the figure for 2014.

2. 36% of people have purchased physical products via mobile – up 24%  year on year.

3. According to data from Adobe Digital Insights, mobile shopping hit $24 billion in the holiday period from November 1 to December 20. Adobe said mobile devices accounted for 31% of online retail sales, with the rest coming from laptops and desktops.

Perhaps surprisingly, mobile shopping for digital content has fallen in the last two years.

4. 30% of people said they bought digital goods in the previous six months. In 2014 it was 37%.

5. Business models for consuming digital content via subscription or freemium apps are arguably driving this trend. According to 2016 research by AppsFlyer, just 5.2% of users spend money on in-app purchases.

China is leading the world in mobile payments

6. 88% of China’s citizens currently make mobile transactions.

7. 47% make purchases via an app (where the app provider has a record of the card details). The global average is 31%.

8. 38% of Chinese shoppers use a mobile wallet in a shop. The global average is just 18%.

Abandonment issues

Payment abandonment continues to be a problem.  Every day, mobile merchants miss out on significant revenue because shoppers change their minds about a purchase. But many more find the payment process too complicated, time-consuming or intrusive to continue.

9. 58% of people have started to pay for something via mobile, only to abandon it before the end.

10. 31% said this was because they were asked for too much sensitive information. 21% said the process was too long. 22% cited technical or connectivity issues.

11. The US appears most affected, with 66% of US respondents confirming they have abandoned purchases.

The most obvious fix is one-click ordering, though this can only work for trusted retailers with repeat custom. Amazon 1-Click is the primary example. Apple Pay and Android Pay also solve the problem by storing card details safely inside the device (so the merchant doesn’t have to ask for them). The shopper can then check out with a PIN or even a fingerprint.

Charge to bill is growing

12. In 2016 more than a third of people paid for items directly from the phone bill globally – more than double the equivalent number for 2014 (14%).

13. Carrier billing is most popular in Nigeria with 42% of those surveyed paying this way.

Trust and privacy are still a major barrier

Whilst mobile payments are fundamentally safe, more safe than most ‘analogue’ forms of payment, the study shows that most people believe the opposite. 17% of respondents say they trust handing a card to a waiter/shop assistant the most of all card payment scenarios. Just nine per cent trust storing details in an app the most.

14. 17% of respondents say they trust handing a card to a waiter/shop assistant the most of all card payment scenarios whilst just 9% trust storing details in an app the most.

15. 31% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase because they were asked for too much sensitive information.

Mobile banking moves mainstream

16. 61% of consumers used their mobile phone to bank, with one in two (48%) preferring apps to do so.

17. 28% prefer branch banking against 26% for apps.

Mobile banking in regions like Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania mostly excludes traditional banks. Instead, users use agents to turn cash into mobile currency they can use to pay family/friends or settle bills – usually done by text or the USSD message channel.

18. The research reveals 21% of all respondents had banked via text/USSD.

Download the free MEF Mobile Money Report now

MEF’s global consumer study series looks at the habits and attitudes of nearly 6000 consumers in nine countries.

The Mobile Money Report supported by Wirecard found 78% of people surveyed had made a purchase by mobile in the previous six months and looks at the types of payments and banking activities in both developed and emerging markets that are changing m-commerce habits and driving adoption of mobile money.

Read the summary and download load the FREE report now.

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