eMarketer estimates that smartphone user penetration is at about 25% of the total population in Western Europe. Sweden seems to be far ahead of that figure. Data gathered by SBAB Bank in August and September indicated that the smartphone adoption rate among internet users in Sweden was more than twice that, at about 67%.
Google’s May 2012 report “Our Mobile Planet: Sweden” similarly found smartphone penetration in Sweden to far outpace that of other Western European countries, with smartphone reach estimated at 51% of the population in Q1 2012.
However, SBAB found that consumers in Sweden are not yet convinced that using their smartphones to make in-store payments is a good idea. Only 34% of respondents said they would like to be able to make payments while at a brick-and-mortar location using their phone, while 49% were not interested, and 17% didn’t know how they felt.
These prospective shoppers said their greatest reservations about mobile payments stemmed from security concerns, named by 58% of respondents, and the potential that they would face additional fees or costs for using their smartphones, cited by 40% of those polled. Stores and service providers can assuage concerns about additional fees by making their policies transparent, but easing fears about privacy issues will take time and care to explain.
Still, Google found that the climate for mcommerce in Sweden showed signs of growth. In its survey, 24% of respondents said they expected to make purchases on their smartphone more often over the next 12 months.