Increasingly, technology is changing what we consider possible, from unlocking a car from inside the house to recording a movie remotely. With this evolution, the mobile phone has become the most important technology accessory, with younger generations fueling this movement.
Consumers are now poised for the next step – using their smartphones as mobile wallets, according to a new survey by MasterCard Worldwide. The study, conducted by Kelton Research, shows 62 percent of Americans who use a mobile phone would be open to using their device to make purchases wherever their errands may take them.
“Consumers are already living a mobile lifestyle so using their phones to make payments on a daily basis is a natural next step,” said Mung-Ki Woo, group executive, mobile at MasterCard Worldwide. “2011 is the beginning of the NFC mobile payments era, and consumers are eager to get their hands on the first commercial deployments in the U.S.”
Defined as a mobile generation with its pulse on digital trends, 18-34 year-olds are particularly ready to take their transactions to the next level:
In a separate 2010 survey conducted by MasterCard Advisors, respondents under 30 years of age showed this demand has also been building for the past few years. This group is increasingly hungry for mobile payment options and access to their funds:
Perception is Important
This growing willingness to use a mobile phone for payments supports the role mobile phones play as a reflection of personality, and consumers’ desire not to carry a traditional wallet. According to the study, consumers value mobile phones not just for the functions they can perform, but for what they say about them too. Over half (54 percent) of respondents think that someone’s phone is more telling of their personality than their wallet.
“When credit and debit cards were first introduced, consumers welcomed the improvements they made to the speed, convenience and reliability of transactions,” said Woo. “Now with the mobile wallet ready to revolutionize this experience again, consumers have even more to gain as their phones take on additional functionality and value in their lives.”
Gender Divides How Consumers Evaluate Mobile Payments
As the mobile wallet goes mainstream, gender will play a role in how it’s perceived and used. While men see their phones as functional necessities, women take a more personal approach to their mobile devices. According to the survey, men tend to be more willing to use their phones for payment transactions, and they perceive the transactions in a positive way:
While women are slightly more conservative about mobile phone purchasing decisions, they highly value the content stored on their phones:
Trust and Privacy are Critical to Consumer Comfort
Despite reliance on mobile devices and general consumer readiness for mobile payments, the survey revealed that overall safety is a significant comfort factor in the decision to pay by phone. Nearly two in three respondents (62%) said they need confirmation that their personal information is safe in order to be comfortable making a transaction, underscoring trust and privacy as paramount factors in changing payment behaviors.
The MasterCard Mobile Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between April 15th and April 22nd 2011 via email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over.
Source: Business WireDemographics, Kelton Research, MasterCard