Consumer research firm Future Foundation has found a growing interest in m-commerce among European consumers, a tendency that is being emphasised by post-2008 austerity.
The firm says more than half (52 per cent) of UK consumers have bought something (other than an app) through their handsets. The figure is even higher in Germany (57 per cent) but lower in Spain (46 per cent).
In terms of future adoption, the firm points to another number: those people who haven’t bought anything on their phones yet and have no intention of doing so. That figure is 19 per cent in Spain and Germany, and 21 per cent in the UK, which Future Foundation says is relatively low.
The research was commissioned by mobile payments firm Monitise.
Barry Clark (pictured), account director with the Future Foundation, said over the last five years consumers have become “more aware and sensitive about the value of money and will invest more time and energy in finding the right product”, which has encouraged m-commerce usage.
The trend has implications for traditional banks. Consumers are turning to mobile banking during the recession to set and control their budgets. In the UK, 22 per cent of UK users have used their handset for banking in the last six months, which is less than the 27 per cent in Spain. Both are ahead of Germany (15 per cent).
In addition, nearly 60 per cent of UK users said they would feel more confident about buying goods and services on their handsets if they could use apps provided by their banks, in which users continue to invest trust. The figure for Spain is 68 per cent, while the figure for Germany was 50 per cent.
Yet, in a related response, more smartphone owners across the three countries said they trusted PayPal for mobile payments than their banks. Third place in the trust stakes was credit card firms, ahead of, in descending order, retailers (Amazon), mobile operators, what are termed software companies (including Microsoft and Google) and handset vendors (including Apple).