Survey reveals UK fears regarding mobile payments

Many don't trust the idea of mobile payments, even if they're not exactly sure why
Darren Allan

October 18, 2011

Mobile payment systems are on their way to the UK, or so we keep hearing.

Certainly smartphones boasting NFC technology are becoming more prevalent, and more than one company has mobile wallet schemes in the pipeline, with Everything Everywhere and O2 announcing their respective plans early this year.

And of course Google is planning its big mobile wallet app over in the US at first, but with it coming to this country next year in all likelihood.

But the roll out of mobile payments will have trouble beginning in earnest if not many folks in the UK trust the concept. And a new piece of research from Intersperience has suggested that this is the case.

The poll of over a thousand UK adults found that only 17%, less than one in five, were wanting to use mobile payments in the future.

Other consumers had fears and worries about phone hacking and security issues – almost half of those questioned were concerned about the lack of security software on mobile phones.

The fears were a mix of genuine concerns and uncertain apprehension. A quarter of those who didn’t want to use mobile payments said that it “feels less secure but I don’t know why”.

A quarter also feared that their mobile was more likely to be stolen than their wallet. And of course, if or indeed when mobile wallets become a full reality, the mobile phone may well become a far more tempting target to thieves. And it’s already tempting enough to pinch a £500 smartphone.

Phone hacking was an obvious concern given the recent high profile cases of tabloid journalists sliming their way onto celebrities phones to snaffle headline stories.

Paul Hudson, CEO of Intersperience, commented: “There is no doubt that the phone hacking scandals have unnerved consumers. We also detected a marked rise in security concerns when people use devices with mobile internet access compared to fixed access via PCs. These beliefs will impact the pace at which UK consumers adopt mobile payment systems.”

Currently, only 8% of those questioned said they used their mobile phone to pay for purchases.


Comments in chronological order (1 comment)

  1. Kim Fraiser says:

    Why is everyone so afraid of virtual cards? It’s easier to steal my plastic card number that well…set in plastic. This new cool app for b2b payments, globalVCard allows me to create single use card numbers for a set dollar amount. Def sleeping better these days…

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