Europeans back banks for mobile payments

ING Mobile Banking survey of European mobile wallet and payments users

Some 185m Europeans will use a mobile payment app this year, up 51% on 2014, a survey of 14,000 consumers for ING has revealed, and respondents say they are far more likely to use apps associated with their bank for mobile payments (59%) over ‘named groups’ such as Apple or Google (39%).

Mobile device owners in Turkey (56%) and Poland (43%) are leading the way in embracing mobile payments, showing a higher adoption rate than the US (42%).

The uptake of mobile payment apps is more gradual across the continent, though. Italy comes in third place with 39%, followed by Spain (35%), Romania (32%), the UK (30%), Czech Republic (26%), France (25%) and Germany (23%).

The survey also revealed:

  • 50% used a mobile payment app because it’s quicker, 42% used a mobile payment app because its easier and 33% have used one because they can use it in many different locations;
  • 42% have not used a mobile app because they don’t trust it, 41% said they haven’t had the opportunity to use one, 10% don’t understand mobile payments apps and 9% said it’s not easier than using other methods;
  • When asked if respondents have used Bitcoin in the past 12 months, 26% of people in Europe said they have not and 49% said they don’t know what Bitcoin is. Only 4% in Europe said they have used the digital currency it in the last year.

“The global market for mobile payments is reported to be growing rapidly and what we’re seeing is a major shift in consumer attitudes and behaviour to support that growth, though not everyone is convinced about moving to a cashless society just yet,” says ING senior economist Ian Bright.

The survey found mobile banking users say the technology helps them feel “more in control” of their finances, he added, with almost half giving that response – the most frequently cited of all options.

“While physical cash still has its place in society, mobile payment apps are giving consumers greater freedom when it comes to managing their finances. The instant visibility offered by mobile banking also means more consumers feel in control of their finances, claiming to have avoided missing payments and keeping on top of bills.”

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2 comments on this article

  1. but the vast majority will not use NFC unfortunately 🙁
    I hope 2016 will be “the year of NFC”

  2. Banks outside the U.S. are doing their best to delay the introduction of mobile wallet technologies that are run by 3rd parties as these are viewed as a back door way for the banks to lose both customers and revenue.

    Here are my thoughts as posted on macrumors as to why banks in Canada are not rushing to sign up:

    To me, it is clear that banks are playing the only card they have to try and thwart Pay, namely impugning the security of the system. Banks would prefer to shut out Pay (look at how they formed a collusive working group, under the banner of security, to hire McKinsey, but most likely with the request to find a way to implement something clunky that will reduce Pay’s convenience, efficiency and customer uptake.)

    Below is my analysis previously posted to MacRumors site:

    “The banks are open to an agreement, but they aren’t happy with Apple’s fee proposals and are concerned about security vulnerabilities like the ones that U.S. banks experienced as they rolled out the service, the people said.”

    Several red herrings in that statement:
    – banks Are afraid of losing even 0.15% fee to Apple;
    – banks don’t see their current credit card system as being fraud-u-listicly weak as the current USA mag stripe system is (therefore, they see Apple’s fee as being inordinately high for a service that doesn’t solve an expensive immediate or future problem;
    – they are VERY worried about giving Apple a foothold in this market, by granting them mind-share. The risk here is that wide-spread use (and confidence in) Apple Pay will act as a gateway for Apple to eventually sherlock the banks (and credit card networks) by either/both opening up its own network, or (egads!) it’s own bank*.

    The banks are hiding behind a security ruse to play for time, hoping to get better terms from Apple as a result; if they never come to terms, they, in a strategic sense, would be much happier. The security reality is that Pay is much more secure than almost any other solution heretofore, and that the recent problems stemmed from banks choosing little to no verification (“green path”) for the cards being added into the Pay system.

    I’m not clear if the interchange fees charged by the card networks and banks are in line with the U.S., or not, but if they are more in line with the very low caps proposed in the EU, then an Apple service fee as large as that in the U.S. (Especially for a service not likely to be seen by banks as in their interest) will be near to insurmountable.

    If Apple is playing the long game, then getting Pay up and running, even if being limited to a break-even fee, is essential. (Of course, Apple, in order to not tip its hand, will have to try to demand the same fee as in the U.S., perhaps adjusted for local fraud rates and any fee cap, as well as reinforcing the idea that the service is not a Trojan springboard into banking, but is only there to support the sale of its hardware.)

    *eventually, Apple might choose to do this to keep its growth rate on track (it already has enough resources to do it if it chose, but such a big step will be saved for when the Company is much larger and needs big initiatives to overcome the “financial law of large numbers”. Apple is giving the banks a chance to get into bed with them, until such time as Apple chooses to disrupt their industry and decimate them.

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