Nearly half of web users would pay for transport with their phone
Mobile payments often get a mixed reception on this side of the pond. While tech fans—as well as the carriers and payment providers who hope to benefit financially from mobile wallets—are excited about new possibilities, many others don’t see a need for the technology or worry about the security surrounding the new means of payment.
But in Great Britain, nearly half of internet users thought mobile payments would be useful in at least some circumstances, according to a Harris Interactive poll fielded in June. The survey found that 49% of web users in the country were at least somewhat interested in using their phones as a payment mechanism for transportation. Nearly as many said the same about paying in bars and restaurants or for groceries. Even for major purchases, almost one-third of respondents were interested in mobile payments.
Those figures were especially high considering they were among all internet users—not just those who have a smartphone or other advanced handset that would be necessary to carry out a mobile payment transaction using technologies like near-field communication (NFC). And with smartphone ownership highest among the young, and somewhat more likely among males in older age groups, early adoption of mobile payments seems even more likely.
eMarketer estimates that in the UK, which includes Great Britain as well as Northern Ireland, there will be 19.2 million smartphone owners by the end of this year, representing 36.8% of the total mobile population in the country. By 2016, nearly 42 million people in the UK will own a smartphone.
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