Security fears hamper mobile wallet growth

Updated: 
Mobile phone commerceNearly half of all UK mobile phone users will not use their phones as 'mobile wallets' because of security concerns, according to the latest research. Almost a quarter worry that their mobile phone is more likely to be stolen than their wallet and just 17% say they would like to use their mobile as a way of paying for goods and services in future. Consumers feel happier on 'fixed' devices rather than on mobile and wireless connections.

The research was carried out by consumer research specialists Intersperience, which questioned 1,000 UK adults on their attitude to using mobile phone payment. The findings "revealed a mix of emotional and rational views on mobile phone security" according to the company.

One example of this clash between perception and reality, according to the report, is that consumers generally seemed to feel happier about making transactions over wired conections on fixed PCs than on wireless. But instances of security breaches via PCs are greater than via mobiles, says the report.

Mobile or PC

Respondents told researchers that mobile payment "feels less secure but I'm not sure why". This, says the report, highlights "the extent to which irrational fears may govern consumer behaviour in this area." More than 37% said they would hesitate to buy something via mobile, while only 11% had doubts about buying via a PC.

The survey found that only 8% of respondents use their mobile to buy things. But 21% said they would shop via mobile in future. And younger users seem especially keen to adopt the mobile commerce model. Some 25% of under-18s surveyed said they would be happy to use a mobile phone as a payment device in future.

Paul Hudson, CEO of Intersperience, said: "Consumers are fearful because they are adjusting not just to a digital world but an increasingly mobile world. oday's adults may be adopting a cautious stance on mobile payments but we expect the next generation to take a bolder approach."

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