VocaLink, the international payments company, has published its ‘Voice of the Global Customer’ research of more than 10,000 consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which shows global consumer demand for inter-bank payments in near real-time via a mobile phone.
The VocaLink research was conducted across five countries: the UK, Germany, Malaysia, Canada and the US. It measures the international appeal of initiating immediate payments using a mobile phone and uncovers the key drivers in each country that will lead to mass adoption of the service.
The research reveals that consumer demand for immediate mobile payments is so strong that 29% of respondents in Germany and 53% of respondents in Malaysia are willing to pay per transaction to benefit from the speed, convenience and ease of use.
Immediate mobile payments is the preferred method to pay an urgent bill or to transfer money to friends or family. Over half (53%) of Britons and 46% of Germans opted for mobile payments over cash, cheques or cards as a way of transferring money to friends or family, and 44% of Britons chose mobile payments to pay an urgent bill – this rises to 76% in Malaysia.
Marion King, chief executive officer (CEO) of VocaLink said: “Our research reflects the increasingly mobile and fast moving world in which we live. Consumers worldwide have come to expect instantaneous money transfer when making online transactions and further afield consumers are demonstrating a big appetite for innovation. To remain competitive and satisfy consumer demand, banks need to offer a fast, easy and convenient mobile payments service. With our existing real-time expertise in immediate payments through the success of the UK Faster Payments infrastructure, we have the ability to support financial service providers in the delivery of immediate mobile payments.”
While security is often highlighted as a big challenge for mobile financial services, the research demonstrates that from consumers’ perspective, it is less of an important factor than the ease of using the service.
The research also surveyed international SMEs with three quarters of UK small businesses finding immediate mobile payments appealing. The ability to ‘be paid straight away’ (70%) and ‘be paid on time’ (61%) are seen as very valuable. In the UK, sole traders such as electricians, financial consultants and plumbers, were most impressed with the prospect of immediate mobile payments. Small businesses would be willing to incur the cost of the payment themselves rather than passing it on to customers.
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