Mobile Payments Driving Global M-commerce Adoption

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In 2013, 15 percent of mobile media users made some form of mobile payment to make a purchase, according to a survey by the MEF. The largest group of these users (7% of the total sample) did so via a mobile wallet, especially those based on NFC technology.

The report, carried out in partnership with On Device Research, highlights the importance of mobile money users to the overall m-commerce market, as this group is 26 percent more likely to purchase via mobile. Globally, 91 percent made some form of mobile purchase in 2013 as opposed to 65 percent of all mobile consumers.

Mobile money users also spend more on individual purchases. They are 10 percent less likely to make low value payments and 14 percent more likely to make mid-value purchases.

And mobile money users don't just buy more than the average mobile user. They do more of everything. They are 12% more likely to scan barcodes, 11% more likely to make charitable donations and 10% more likely to use location based services.

MEF's Mobile Money consumer insight report suggests that mobile banking is already mainstream in many regions, but for different reasons. In the USA, UK and China the use of mobile apps for checking balances and paying bills is commonplace. Whereas in Africa handsets are used to send airtime to other users, transfer funds and seek credit.

In Africa, the 'mobile-only' culture means the mobile money account is the bank account. Globally, 66 percent of mobile media users use some form of mobile banking. In Kenya, for example, it's 92 percent.

The study also reveals the importance of network speed to the uptake of mobile money. A quarter of users claim they don't make mobile payments because 'the network is too slow'. That might help explain why fewer than one in seven mobile media users have made some form of mobile payment.

Conversely, those connected to super-speedy 4G networks are much more engaged: almost two in three (64 percent) have made a mobile payment.

Rimma Perelmuter, CEO at MEF said: "Our 2014 Mobile Money Insight Report clearly highlights that early adopters of mobile money are key to accelerating the growth of mobile commerce. This is true both in terms of their propensity to spend more on individual purchases and their likelihood to engage with a wider array of mobile services. In many markets, mobile money has already hit the mainstream, with Africa leading the way. Faster mobile networks will only advance its adoption further worldwide."

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