If overseas experience is anything to go by, it won’t take long for mobile payments to take off when the technology rolls out in New Zealand later this year.
A report by IDC Research shows a third of US consumers made purchases with their mobile phone in the past twelve months. That’s up from roughly 20% a year earlier.
Given that New Zealanders were early to the idea of cashless transactions and already make more than twice as many electronic payments as people in other countries, it’s likely we’ll move even faster.
The report says some of the growth in mobile payments is down to the rapid adoption of smartphones. Recent smartphones, such as the HTC One X pictured, include near-field communications or NFC chips that allow users to make payments in stores using a contactless payment terminal – see our earlier post on NFC payments.
IDC says one interesting finding is that consumers don’t appear to be worried about the form of mobile payments.
Aaron McPherson, practice director, financial services for IDC Financial Insights said: “I don’t think the consumer cares much whether it’s an NFC chip or a mobile wallet — I suspect a lot of people who have NFC chips in their phone don’t know they have them. Just like a lot of people who have contactless cards don’t know they have contactless cards.”
IDC uses a loose definition of mobile payments, it includes app store purchases and buying via PayPal mobile as well as Google Wallet – a popular service for making payments in the US with NFC equipped smartphones.