Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mobile Payment Apps are Gaining Increased Adoption

You may recall that in March I reported NPD In-Stat had forecast that proximity mobile payment transactions will approach 9.9 billion in 2016 -- that's up from 1.1 billion in 2012, nearly a ten-fold increase.

That being said, proximity technology that's embedded in mobile handsets are just one of the many emerging global market opportunities for this evolving new online business model.

U.S. android smartphone users engaged in mobile payment applications (via software apps) are on the rise, growing 8 percent since August last year to nearly 35 percent, according to the latest market study by The NPD Group.

An increasing proportion of consumers are engaged in using their smartphones to move money, buy products and services on their phone, comparison shop, redeem coupons, and start to pay for all types of things -- using their mobile phone.

"Mobile payment and wallet solutions are clearly at a very early stage of development, but consumers are demonstrating greater comfort in how they are using their smartphones," said Linda Barrabee, research director, NPD Connected Intelligence.

Consumers are doing everything from basic utility (bill pay, moving money, and account management) to using the phone itself to pay for goods and services of limited value (micro-transactions), including buying a cup of coffee or movie tickets.

The top American payment apps used in March include PayPal, mobile bill pay apps (My Verizon and My AT&T), payments acceptance apps Pay Anywhere and Square, and Starbucks and Fandango Movies.

"Ultimately, the success of mobile payment and wallet initiatives rests on changing entrenched consumer behaviors, and shifting the reliance on, and use of, physical wallets and all of its contents to a mobile (digital) version,” said Barrabee.

However, in order to do this, and facilitate on-the-go consumer transactions and commerce, wireless carriers, credit card companies, and e-commerce companies need to make sure the process is convenient, simple, and secure for consumers.

The NPD Connected Intelligence SmartMeter -- powered by Informate -- is an application running on Android and BlackBerry devices leveraging an opt-in panel of consumers. The SmartMeter tracks data consumption, as well as function and content use. This includes web and application use across 23 categories including Banking, content sharing, e-books, games, navigation, health, music and video.