gartner-mobile-shopping-research-mobilestance-2-copy.jpgMobile Banking Finds Some Success in the US, While Payment Services Face Mounting Concerns.

A new study by Harris Interactive finds a virtual glass half full/empty scenario developing in the US mobile commerce space. Depending on which way you look at it, the domestic m-commerce market is either poised for explosive growth, or is doomed to follow in the footsteps of other “once hot, now not” slow growth areas… such as mobile video or Bluetooth marketing.

First, the “good” news: US consumers are increasingly taking to mobile banking services for activities such as balance inquiries and fund transfers. The survey “finds 16 percent of mobile phone subscribers already use mobile banking services, with 60 percent of these people using the services at least once a week.” Of those not currently engaging in mobile banking services, 35 percent expressed interest in “checking bank account balances and transferring funds via their mobile devices. A third of those surveyed (33 percent) also said they would like to receive text message alerts from their financial institutions.”

However, US consumers draw the line at conducting actual financial transactions via mobile. A mere 19% of those surveyed had any interest in “mobile wallet” services, while only 16% expressed interest in “mobile shopping.” Consumers cited three core reasons behind their lack of interest in the channel:

  1. Security Concerns. 66% claimed “Security / Encryption” was their primary concern, while 63% cited “Exposure to Fraud”, and 61% were concerned they “Might lose device with valuable information.”
  2. Price Sensitivities. 58% of those surveyed identified “Cost” as a reason for their lack of interest in mobile commerce services. 33% were either “very” or “extremely concerned” with how “price per transaction” would affect the overall cost of mobile transactions.
  3. Quality Issues. “Usability”(43%), “Reliability” (37%) and “Speed of Network” (23%) rounded out the top reasons for lack of interest in m-commerce.

Joseph Porus, Vice President, Harris Interactive, remains optimistic on the potential of mobile commerce while also cautioning against taking a consumer’s “expressed interest” in future products too literally. “Payment is where we’re all the applications are headed,” said Porus “[but] there’s also a halo affect with all of these studies when it comes to interest levels. Once a consumer actually sees the [product or service], along with the price, you can usually cut the ‘Interest’ number in half. Still, these numbers are very encouraging.”

You can find some of the raw data here: .pdf link.

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