18% of shoppers have used their phones to pay in a shop, according to a Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) study covering 6,000 consumers in nine countries. Apple Pay is a key player here. Now available in 13 countries, the service has greatly improved awareness of the mobile wallet. But the biggest impact has come from China. The research reveals 38% of Chinese consumers have made an in-store mobile payment. This is thanks to the likes of Tencent/WeChat and Alipay. Their users frequently make QR-code based payments with these products in physical stores.

The study also found 78% of people had made a purchase by mobile in the previous six months – up 4% on the figure for 2014. 61%, meanwhile, now use their mobile phone to bank, with 44% using apps to check their balances (28% in 2014), and 29% paying bills from the handset (against 20% in 2014).

Hurdles remain, however. 58% of people have started to pay for something via mobile, only to abandon it before checkout. 31% said this was because they were asked for too much sensitive information, while for 21% the process was too long. Rimma Perelmuter, CEO at MEF, says: “The adoption of mobile money continues to advance. In developed markets, mobile payments and banking are driving a revolution in convenience. In growth markets, they are giving millions of people access to financial services for the first time. It’s important that the industry builds on this momentum. The research shows we can still do more to improve payment flows, improve consumer trust in mobile money to allay privacy and security concerns. But overall, the news is good: mobile remains the key driver of online commerce.”

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by Scott Thompson
Scott is Senior Editor at IBS Intelligence. You can follow him on Twitter and contact him at: Scott.Thompson@ibsintelligence.com