More Consumers Making Mobile Payments
More than a third of U.S. consumers are making payments via mobile devices -- twice the percentage from last year, according to a new survey by technology
research firm IDC.
Among the people who have made a mobile payment, PayPal Mobile was the most common method, with more than half (56%) using that system. The other top platforms were Amazon Payments and Apple's iTunes, each used by about 40% for mobile payments.
Despite the popularity of apps and digital outlets like iTunes, the study found that more people reported buying physical goods with their phones than online services, digital goods or virtual currency. Beyond m-payments, IDC Financial Insights’ annual Consumer Payments Survey highlighted growth in other areas, including the use of prepaid cards.
Given the growth in m-payments and prepaid cards, IDC suggested the trends should spur financial institutions’ efforts to develop products in these categories. “Demand is clearly there, and banks need to make sure they are not left behind by non-banks that are more narrowly focused on the opportunity,” it stated.
IDC also cited reward programs as one of the strongest areas for banks to capitalize on. They also have a long history of offering rewards on their cards, and working with retailers on cross-promotions. Rewards programs can help anchor new ventures in the growing prepaid and mobile payments markets, according to the firm.
For the second straight year, IDC said both direct billing and bank-operated online bill pay sites were used by more than half of survey participants. Overall, 73.5% of consumers now use online bill payment, confirming the Web as the main way that people pay bills.
In related news Tuesday, mobile payments startup Paydient announced securing $12 million in a second-round funding led by Stage 1 Ventures that it plans to use to build out it white-label payment and offers service for banks and retailers.
The company’s platform allows partners to incorporate mobile payments into existing banking and retail apps for the iPhone and Android devices. Paydient’s system allows both online and in-store transactions, supporting mobile technologies including NFC (near field communications) and barcodes.