M-Commerce: Mobile Payments Starting Point in JapanChristina Sommer |
As we continue to showcase the Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI) around the world, I have enjoyed the discussions with colleagues, clients, analysts, and consultants about the unique challenges each market must address if mobile payments are to succeed.
On the heels of yet another conference where the MPRI will be featured– this time at SIBOS in Japan, I was reflecting on the specifics of the Japanese market and realized the market is fairly representative of many other countries on the MPRI – ready on some levels for mobile payments, but not on others.
Japan earned the sixth spot on the MPRI and has nearly all the right elements in place for mobile payments to flourish. The market scores specifically well on Financial Services, with the largest card penetration of any country on the Index, as well as boasts a sound technical infrastructure, and solid bank-telco partnerships in the mobile payments space – namely the NTT docomo venture.
There is still work to be done, however, on the consumer front. Japan scores lower than the Index average in Consumer Readiness. Twenty percent of Japanese consumers are familiar with mobile payments but only eight percent express willingness to use mobile payments. It is no secret that consumer adoption is a critical success factor. This gap between consumer willingness to use mobile payments and their familiarity with the concept is the key barrier that needs to be overcome before measurable adoption can take place.
M-Commerce seems to be a bright spot among Japanese consumers. Currently 13 percent of consumers in Japan are willing to use mobile devices to purchase goods online and seven percent are already engaging in m-commerce. I believe these numbers reflect the early adopters who tend to lead the way for their peers. Focusing on this group of and educating them on the benefits of the other types of mobile payments – primarily Point of Sale (POS) payments and Person to Person (P2P) payments could be the wedge that propels mobile payments adoption in Japan.
Topics: Payments Strategy