May 6, 2006

Survey: Young consumers not interested in mobile payments

This survey made me feel young again! Thank you survey people!

More than half of the young consumers who took part in a Generation X and Y payment and technology panel study feel the ability to use their mobile phones as a payment device is unnecessary. Thirty-eight percent claim using their phone as a payment method isn't valuable to them. One barrier to contactless payment is concern over security: over 60 percent of survey respondents avoid contactless payment at this point.

Yes! I’m not just a boring old programmer that doesn’t like change! I think like a Gen X-er!

The fundamental issue to me is buried in a small survey result that appears near the end of the article. How many people are truly concerned about their existing payment options? A tiny 4%, according to the survey.

The problem is that mobile payment is currently being positioned as simply a replacement of existing payment methods, with no substantial improvement. And since people are not unhappy with their existing payment methods, the whole value proposition falls flat.

You hear mobile payment experts in conferences saying things like, “No one leaves home without their mobile phone.” True. But most people don’t leave home without their wallet either.

Or a recent one: “Everyone has a mobile phone in their pocket or handbag, as well as a wallet and keys, therefore it’s only natural that all of these things will converge into one device, a mobile phone.” Now’s that’s an amazing intellectual leap.

Then there’s talk of standards: “Mobile payments won’t take off until all systems are interoperable.” I like that one a lot. I currently own a universally interoperable device which can store my credit cards, debit cards, cash, ID, driver’s licence and lots of other stuff, regardless of the format or origin of each of these items. It’s called a leather wallet. And it works really well. I know. I am getting old. But this survey makes me feel young again! Well, at least not so old.

This study mirrors an earlier one that reported a similar lack of consumer interest in mobile payments (see "Mobile commerce study: a case of analysts not hearing what people are saying").

No comments: