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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 09, 2012

Smartphone users not using the 'smart' bit

A recent Harris Poll found that, while people are clamoring to own the latest hi-tech smartphones few are using them to their full potential. Texting and mobile browsing are well-used functions but more advanced operations, such as scanning or mobile payment apps, are used by very few.

by Helen Leggatt

harris interactive logo.jpgSmartphones can free their users of bulky paperwork, travel documents and even wallets but, according to a Harris Poll of over 2,000 American adults, few are using their mobile devices to de-clutter their lives.

Overall, 40% of respondents had never scanned their phone while 45% said their phone did not have this capability. Just 5% of those surveyed had scanned their smartphone to gain admission to transport or entertainment venues. Fewer still (3%) had scanned their device to pay for items such as clothing or electronics or even the occasional cappuccino.

"It seems at the moment technology capabilities outpace changing behavior--there are many new functions available that most people either haven't tried or admit to being uncomfortable with," said Harris Interactive in a recent statement.

"This presents an interesting conundrum--it seems people like having the latest in technology, as the wait lists and lines for newly released products indicate, yet beyond early adopters, many people don't take advantage of the new functions available to them."

One area in which Harris found consumers may need more reassurance is using mobile apps to store credit card information, allowing users to make purchases from their device. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they were not comfortable using this function with 45% not at all comfortable. Only one quarter are comfortable and 13% not sure.

On announcing its purchase of a 15% stake in mobile shopping venture Mobile Money Market, credit card company Visa predicted that over 50% of Visa transactions will be carried out on a mobile device by 2020.

"The work that we will do will allow the people born in the last five year to never have a physical wallet," said Visa president John Partridge, speaking at Mobile World Congress.

Tags: mobile marketing, mobile payments, mobile phone, scanning, smartphone, survey, transport, travel

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