Even with the Occupy movement throughout the United States that began in September, and its Bank Transfer Day on November 5th, which have resulted in at least 650,000 customers shifting more than $4.5 billion from big banks to credit unions, it appears that consumers in the United States still do have trust in their banks—at least where mobile money is concerned.
The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Sybase 365 recently conducted a joint survey to gauge U.S. consumers’ shopping trends and behaviors this holiday season. Of those surveyed, 45% said they’d be encouraged to use their mobile devices to make payments for their holiday shopping. That alone is big news.
When asked what kind of solution would encourage them, 25% of respondents chose a solution created and enabled by their own bank. A solution like PayPal garnered a 22% positive response, followed by a solution from a credit card company (18%), a mobile operator (16%), the U.S. government (15%), or social media (9%).
Though trust in banks may be lower than it was five or 10 years ago, people still trust banks more than other mobile payment players, and PayPal ranks a close second. The U.S. Government is second-to-last in the list: most likely a measure of consumers’ confidence in the governments’ technological savvy. Social media landed at the bottom of the heap—perhaps due to security and privacy concerns?
With Isis and Google and other industry players, the mobile wallet is getting lots of airtime right now. Our survey numbers also show that more U.S. consumers are aware of mobile payments than ever before. Almost two-thirds of respondents, 62%, said that they’d make a purchase on their mobile device if encouraged by coupons, discount offers, gift cards, text or email alerts or loyalty points. Compare that to the only 32% positive response to the same question last year.
That’s swift progress for sure. However, we still have a way to go from willingness to widespread adoption, no matter which entity comes out with the best solution, and no matter which one consumers choose to use. The major advances in the mobile commerce platform can only happen when all the players—banks, operators, merchants, and the PayPals of the world—achieve interoperability by determining a business model that fosters a thriving mobile ecosystem.