More people now have access to mobile devices (96%) than bank accounts (89%), so it is not surprising that established financial institutions are increasingly forming partnerships with mobile payment providers or developing their own services.

That is according to Viktoriya Trifonova, senior insights analyst at GlobalWebIndex, who draws on the research firm’s recent Global Mobile Payment Market report to shine a light on industry developments in an article for the August issue of Admap.

Based on an online poll of internet users across 46 markets, GlobalWebIndex found that 4-in-10 online adults globally used their mobile device to pay for goods or services in the previous month.

As might be expected, this rises to 43% of people aged 16 to 34, yet more than a quarter (26%) of Baby Boomers aged 55 to 64 also make use of alternative payment arrangements.

The survey also revealed little difference between the proportion of men (41%) and women (39%) who use mobile payments, and that mobile payment users tend to be better educated and with higher incomes.

Looking at mobile payment uptake from a regional perspective, the GlobalWebIndex researchers found APAC (47%) to be substantially ahead of other regions, especially in Thailand (56%) and China (51%).

Credit and debit cards never reached the same penetration rates in these markets as they did in mature markets like Europe or North America and, as Trifonova explains, this has allowed them to transition from a primarily cash-driven economy to a digital payments hub, with mobile at the heart of it.

However, the report found that Europe is slowly catching up with APAC, especially in Denmark where 6-in-10 online adults used their mobile to pay for a transaction in the past month.

Furthermore, Austria emerges as the market displaying the second-highest growth in mobile payments adoption after Malaysia, with an increase of 15 percentage points in the past year alone.

Meanwhile, mobile payment usage in the UK has risen by 18 percentage points over two years, buoyed by innovations such as London introducing the first ever mobile payment scheme for street performers.

“This dramatic surge has clearly drawn the interest of foreign players like Alipay to the West,” Trifonova said. “The Chinese payment platform is planning to make the UK one of its biggest international markets for mobile payments.”

But, at least for the time being, PayPal has established itself as the top service in 31 markets, most of which are mature. This was largely accomplished by a series of key acquisitions, Trifonova noted, although she also said: “Trust is also at the centre of this.”

“PayPal raised awareness and familiarity with online checkout tools in general, together with a strong degree of confidence in the consumer protection abilities of this technology,” she said.

But local operators, not global brands, dominate in APAC where the most popular operators in India, China, South Korea and Taiwan are supported by QR codes.

“Within many of APAC’s fast-growing markets, individual businesses represent a cornerstone of local economies, and these QR codes have proved simple and efficient at rapidly onboarding these smaller stores,” said Trifonova.

This issue of Admap on the future of payments features articles by thought leaders from across the globe. WARC subscribers can access a deck which summarises the expert advice from contributors and key considerations on the topic.

Sourced from Admap