Mobile Web on Smartphones and Tablets Gaining FastNitin Sumangali |
As mobile begins to overtake traditional PCs, we anticipate a profound and widespread effect on the payments business. But what shape will it take? And where will it take hold?
According a recent report from OnDevice Research, 38 percent of Chinese mobile web users only access the Internet via their mobile device. This is an increase of eight percentage points in one year. There are even differences between rural and urban Chinese web users, with 45 percent of rural mobile web users accessing the Internet only via their mobile device, compared with 29 percent in the cities.
Numbers like these indicate that in some markets, mobile Internet usage is as much replacing as enhancing desktop web services. It’s also crucial to remember that while consumer receptivity plays a huge role in mobile payments adoption, non-consumer factors such as a conducive infrastructure and banking system must be in place before mobile payments take off.
All this accords with MasterCard Global Insights’ own research. As part of our Mobile Payments Readiness Index—slated for release on this site next month—we interviewed consumers in 34 countries about mobile technology ownership and their awareness of, willingness to use, and actual experience with mobile payments.
The greatest penetration of smartphones and tablets is in the Asia Pacific region. Singapore, China, Thailand, and Hong Kong lead the 34 countries with regard to smartphone and tablet ownership.
Source: MasterCard Research, 2011
Does this mean the Asian powerhouses will lead the way to mobile payments nirvana? Possibly, but penetration of mobile devices is not the only ingredient. As I mentioned earlier, our research indicates that many factors need to align for successful mobile integration, factors such as a strong mobile network infrastructure and sound regulatory policies. For mobile payments to take hold, these elements must be developed simultaneously by all the members of the mobile payments ecosystem.
Topics: Payments Strategy