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Mobile Payments Seen as ‘Mainstream’ for Consumers Within Four Years, KPMG Survey

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. July 13, 2011

The KPMG survey of nearly 1,000 executives in primarily the financial services, technology, telecommunications, and retail industries globally found that 83 percent of the respondents believe that mobile payments will be mainstream within four years, compared to only nine percent who see them as mainstream today.  In fact, 46 percent believe mobile payments will be mainstream within two years.  

Gary Matuszak

Seventy-two percent of the executives said that mobile payments are now or will be reasonably important in the future, with specialist online systems building on its leading position as a payment method, and m-banking and near field communication (NFC) gaining significantly greater traction than today.  Fifty-eight percent said they have a mobile payments strategy in place.

"While there is consensus about the significant value of this opportunity among executives across geographies and industries, the type and size of opportunity varies between developed and developing countries depending on depth and reach of the financial infrastructure  in place. We believe that those firms willing to engage in cross-industry partnerships and coopetition are more likely to succeed and dominate the market due to the complex set of business relationships required to deliver mobile payments to a mass market," said Matuszak.

Driving customer adoption and addressing concerns

While the majority of the business leaders surveyed believe consumers are currently concerned about security and privacy when using mobile devices,  they believe other factors are  more compelling attributes of a successful mobile payment strategy.  Specifically, 81 percent believe convenience/accessibility is the highest attribute, followed by simplicity/ease of use, at 73 percent, security, at 57 percent, and low cost, at 43 percent.  

At the same time, business leaders, globally and in the U.S., view security as the main challenge to developing mobile payments strategies. Technology and adoption of the technology is a distant second, followed by privacy.

Sanjaya Krishna

"One surprising result of our survey is the absence of divergent views across both industries and geographies, which speaks to the consensus that mobile payment is regarded as an opportunity for players across the value chain of commerce," Matuszak said.

Race to lead the mobile payments market

With the mobile payments industry poised to make a major leap in the coming years, several players are expected to play significant roles, though two groups of financial institutions are the current front-runners, say respondents. Banks, which scored the highest in level of importance in the value chain, and credit card companies will have the most important roles, according to business leaders globally. They placed telecommunications companies third, ahead of specialist online payment players (eg. PayPal, Boku, Obopay), online service provider giants (e.g. Google, Facebook, Amazon), retailers and technology companies. Among U.S. respondents, online service provider giants placed third, followed by specialist online payment players and telecommunications companies, which were rated of equal importance, retailers and technology companies.

Mobile Payment Methods

Each of these companies’ success can be tied to the prospects for the five current payment methods which are battling for a share of the market. The KPMG survey respondents, globally and in the U.S., see specialist online systems leading the pack, due to the fact that this method already has significantly greater penetration than alternatives, and its penetration is expected to increase. Respondents said that specialist online systems have the greatest prospect for success, followed by mobile banking, NFC, carrier billing and the "mobile wallet."

"While KPMG believes that these forms of mobile payment will all gain some traction, our view is that M-Wallet is one of the most exciting and promising payment opportunities. M-Wallet provides the momentum to move beyond payments to participate in the entire chain of mobile commerce, from consideration and brand awareness to purchase after-sales loyalty and care," said Tudor Aw, Technology Sector Head, KPMG Europe.




that enables exchange between devices, such as between a cell phone and a point of sale device at a checkout counter.

Specialist Online systems

Carrier billing

The KPMG Global Mobile Payments Survey

Europe Middle East Asia Africa Asia Pacific 2011 KPMG Mobile Payments Outlook Monetizing Mobile: How Banks are Preserving their Place in the Payment Value Chain

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services.  We operate in 150 countries and have 138,000 people working in member firms around the world.  The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.



Mike Alva


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SOURCE KPMG International

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