Suraya Randawa, director, Ipsos Loyalty
Suraya Randawa, director, Ipsos Loyalty
A view from Suraya Randawa

Think BR: Who's afraid of mobile payments?

Security concerns and confusion about which companies provide mobile payment services could hinder take-up, writes Suraya Randawa, director, Ipsos Loyalty.

In our October 2011 Global @dvisor online survey conducted across 17 countries, under a quarter of mobile phone users in Great Britain, France and Germany showed an interest in using Near-Field Communication (NFC) or smartphone apps for retail and person-to-person mobile payments.

This is compared to over a third in Poland and Turkey, and up to two thirds among the BRICs.

Security concerns are often attributed as the reason for this reticence on making payments using a mobile phone. 

Panellists at the World Card Summit on 15 November 2011, including representatives of payments market leaders such Visa Europe, MasterCard Worldwide, Gemalto and Oberthur Technologies, argued that it is the perception of lack of security as opposed to the actual security of mobile payments that is the issue.  

With 69% of our global sample of 13,461 mobile phone users agreeing that "I would need a guarantee that the payments on my mobile will be secure", mobile payments providers are  addressing this. 

For both the Quick Tap mobile service and its contactless cards, Barclaycard is protecting consumers from fraudulent misuse on low value payments. 

Regardless of whether it is perceived or actual security, consumers require reassurance for increased interest and adoption.

However, it may not only be security which holds consumers back from mobile payments.

Only 13% of British mobile phone users agreed that "it is clear to me which companies are providing mobile payments services" and 14% agreed that "I know which types of mobile payments services are available to me". 

With launches or planned launches by Visa, PayPal, the Mobile Money Network and a joint venture by the three leading UK network operators, it is no wonder that there is confusion over what the mobile payment ecosystem will look like. 

Do consumers know that their phones can be NFC enabled in different ways? Do they even know how a mobile wallet app can potentially benefit them?

More importantly, do they know who they can ask about mobile payments?

And following the launch of Barclays Pingit, it is vital that we understand whether the mindset of consumers can change, and how financial services providers, network operators and retailers can best leverage opportunities in this area.

Suraya Randawa, director, Ipsos Loyalty