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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 16, 2010

BuzzCity: Mobiles becoming virtual wallets

Mobile users are increasingly seeing their devices as a way to conduct financial transactions, according to a recent survey from BuzzCity and, with a bit more consumer awareness and education, the trend could really take off.

by Helen Leggatt

A global survey found 90% of mobile users have used their device for financial transactions. While a large proportion of those transactions were related to the use of their mobile phone, such as topping up credits and subscriptions, nearly a quarter of transactions (23%) were related to bookings, banking or online shopping.

However, the survey found that consumer opportunity and awareness are lacking. For example, not only do many mobile users (47%) not know whether their banks offer mobile banking services but, even of those that do, just 15% used the service.

"There are clear opportunities for mobile transactions to grow as users, in this and previous surveys, indicate that they want to be able to use their mobiles to buy more goods such as books, music, travel services, household utilities and electronic appliances," said BuzzCity CEO KF Lai.

"The potential opportunities are huge but the diverse challenges faced by the global mobile audience must not be overlooked - mobile consumers have money to spend but they must be provided with the opportunity to do so."

In addition to mobile content, a wide range of consumer goods are in demand among mobile users for which they are prepared to pay via their mobile device. Books, music and movies are the most sought after (4%) followed by travel bookings (22%) and small appliances (11%).

Mobile marketers need to increase consumer education and awareness of mobile purchasing opportunities while providing real benefits to those transacting via mobile.

Earlier this year another survey, this time from the Mobile Marketing Association, found that U.S. consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with mobile banking.

The MMA found that the main channel via which mobile users interacted with their bank was mobile Internet access (11%) followed by SMS (8%) and mobile app (5.5%). Over the coming year the use of mobile web browsers to access banking is expected to remain the preferred channel rising to 14% while mobile app use will grow to 8.5% and SMS remain static.

"The task at hand for marketers in mobile banking is to migrate consumers from engaging in primarily informational services such as checking account balances to using transaction oriented services," said Jacqueline Rosales, EVP of business development and client service, Luth Research.

Tags: m-commerce, mobile banking, mobile marketing, mobile transactions

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