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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : May 20, 2011

MasterCard: Two-thirds of mobile users ready for payments

Americans are ready and waiting for mobile payment systems, reveals a new survey from MasterCard, with almost two-thirds open to using their mobile device to make payments.

by Helen Leggatt

They communicate, shop, play, entertain, navigate, and even work via their mobile devices, so it's not too surprising to learn that American mobile users are now keen to be able to make payments with them, too.

MasterCard's survey, conducted by Kelton Research, found that, overall, 62% American mobile users were open to the idea of using their devices to make payments.

Respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 are driving interest in the technology, with 63% indicating they would be comfortable making mobile-enabled purchases, compared to 37% of respondents aged 37 and older.

Likewise, respondents aged 18 to 34 were more likely to be constantly in possession of their mobile device with almost two-thirds (65%) saying they feel "naked" without their phone, more so than being without their wallet. Of those aged 35 and over just 34% felt that way.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that consumers see mobile phones as a reflection of the owner's personality. Over half (54%) believe someone's mobile device is more telling of their personality than their wallet. I can see this having significant ramifications for those businesses who target younger demographics. Trend-setters keen to be seen swiping their latest NFC-enabled devices in-store may well favor stores that allow them to show off their gadgets.

Just last week Visa announced it is developing a digital wallet.

"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."

Tags: mobile payments, mobile phone, mobile strategy, near-field communications, NFC technology

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