Commentary

Mobile Transactions? Yes. Payments? Not So Much

Mobile consumers are interested in using their phones for transactions, but those transactions don’t necessarily include mobile payments.

I just came across some interesting research from TSYS in its 2013 Consumer Payment Choice Study.

The third annual study looks at consumer payment preferences, primarily dealing with credit and debit cards. But deep inside the study is one question that provides some insight around mobile transactions and payments.

What I find interesting is not only what consumers are interested in but also what does not interest them, even though there are no majorities in any case.

In the category of “very interested,” many consumers lean toward practical, day-to-day functions, some of which would use the phone to quickly stop a transaction. Here’s where consumer fall in the “very interested” category:

  • 40% -- The ability to use your phone to instantly stop a transaction that was not made by you
  • 37% -- Instantly view transactions made with your debit or credit cards
  • 33% -- Receive instant offers and promotions for the store you are visiting
  • 32% -- The ability to use your phone to temporally block and unblock all purchases on your card
  • 30% -- The ability to pay for purchases using your reward/loyalty points accessed through your mobile phone

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And then there is what many consumers don’t want to do. These include making small purchases and using mobile wallets. Here’s where consumers fall in the “not interested” category.

  • 38% -- The ability to set up a prepaid account for small purchases where the account is automatically reloaded from a debit or credit card when the balance gets low (like Starbucks mobile prepaid program
  • 34% -- Pay for purchases using your  choice of your  debit, credit, or prepaid account(s) you pre-registered on a mobile phone-based wallet
  • 33%-- Make small purchases, such as fast food, through the use of a bar code on the screen of your phone rather than swiping your card
  • 33% -- The ability to instantly transfer money to another person, such as a family member or friend, through your mobile phone
  • 29% -- The ability to hold all your store loyalty/rewards cards on the phone so you can present the right one at the checkout

While many consumers are interested in using their phones for transactions, the way most will use them is still to be determined.

2 comments about "Mobile Transactions? Yes. Payments? Not So Much".
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  1. Ann Dickerson from Punchh, October 25, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.


    Why not? Chief among the many reasons is they see mobile payment as more neat-o than necessary. Cards and cash still work fine, and seeing as they can’t buy everything with just their smartphones, they still have to carry wallets and pocketbooks anyway. So why add a new layer of technology?

    Please check out this blog on the subject from Jitendra Gupta, CEO, Punchh

    http://www.fastcasual.com/blog/9817/For-now-mobile-payment-is-more-neat-o-than-necessary

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, October 25, 2013 at 6:45 p.m.

    Right, Ann, many enamored with the technology rather than the function.

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