Brits say they would pay £3 to top up mobile wallets


The vast majority of Britons with smartphones would consider using their devices to make mobile payments, a new survey has found.


Research by global consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners suggests that many people are open to the idea of so-called 'mobile wallets' and would even be prepared to pay around £3 to load credit.

Many Brits attracted to mobile payments
A consumer discovery panel study, conducted by the banking division of Simon-Kuchers & Partners in July 2011, has revealed that most people are in favour of mobile payments. The survey, which questioned 316 adults in the UK, found that 92% of respondents with smartphones would be willing to make purchases via mobile payments.

Researchers asked about participants' willingness to use five different types of mobile payment. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they were willing to use contactless/NFC mobile payments; 59% were in favour of using their phone to pay a friend; 51% were open to the idea of app-based purchases to pay for goods from home and 40% were attracted to the possibility of paying shopkeepers by transferring money via their phone in-store. However, just 36% of people said they would consider using their mobile phone to send money to friends and family in other countries.

Greater willingness among smartphone users
Willingness to try mobile payment services is significantly greater among people with smartphones, according to the research. More than three-fifths (62%) of smartphone users said they would use mobile payments and a further 30% said they might, compared with just 32% and 36% of non-smartphone users, respectively.

Ben Snowman, director and author of the study, observed that smartphone users are "more advanced" than non-smartphone users in their use of digital payment formats.

"In part, this may be due to the ease of access that smartphone users have to mobile applications giving them the ability to make payments," suggested Mr Snowman. "However, the differences in the willingness to use mobile payments clearly demonstrate that smartphone users do have a distinct mindset."

Some Brits willing to pay for mobile wallets
Interestingly, the survey also revealed that consumers would be willing to pay a fixed fee to load funds on to their mobile wallets. This type of payment method would enable them to make unlimited payments until they had used up their funds. Researchers found that the average smartphone user would be prepared to pay up to £3 to load funds.

"The results of this research are in line with research from VocaLink and Alcatel Lucent who have identified prices that customers would pay to make mobile payments," said Georg Wuebker, global head of banking at Simon-Kucher & Partners. "Our research is the first to drill into five different types of mobile payment and define the different price models that will -- and will not -- work in the market."

See related: Smartphones to get secure fingerprint technology; Brits reluctant to adopt contactless cards

Published: 3 October 2011