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ICM Research: 2013 not the year of the mobile wallet in UK
Lack of awareness, genuine security concerns and a lack of terminals in stores are some of the reasons ICM Research conclude that 2013 will not see the "tipping point" for mobile wallet use in the UK.
According to London-based ICM Research, consumers and the market place aren't yet ready for a wholesale embrace of mobile wallets. Their survey of 2015 Brits shows that, despite smartphone penetration reaching some 60% in the UK, only a third would definitely or probably use their mobile as a wallet to make payments, collect vouchers or to use as tickets for events and on public transport.
This figure rises to 46% when only smarthphone owners' answers were considered, with younger people more likely to do so - 55% among 18-24 year olds and 49% among 25-34 year olds.
There is another rise, to half of respondents, when an incentive to use a mobile wallet, such as a discount, is offered and over half (51%) would use mobile payments if their security concerns were addressed.
ICM Research cites three main reasons why there has been little uptake to date.
1. The market isn't ready: both a lack of support from retailers and widely held security concerns among consumers.
2. Lack of technical savvy: While many Brits now own and use smartphones, many aren't tech savvy enough to use mobile wallets.
3. Lack of NFC-enabled devices: the lack of NFC devices means that, even if consumers wanted to, their device probably can't make a contactless payment. According to ICM Research, "A major barrier to take up in 2013 is that smartphone users tend to be tied into long contracts, and people won't break their contracts just to get an NFC enabled device."
"Google Wallet, Apple's Passbook, Oyster cards and other transport passes, as well as contactless 'wave and pay' cards are stepping stones that will encourage early adopters to convert to Mobile Wallet," says Jamie Belnikoff, associate director at ICM Research.
"The market needs to combine incentives with added security measures and communicate them widely if it is to build consumer confidence that will help drive the adoption of Mobile Wallet."
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