Nine mobile money trends: Consumers embrace ecommerce and banking via mobile


As new mobile payment models come online, and more sectors embrace mobile as the primary channel for customer engagement and transaction, a new report reveals nine significant mobile money trends and explores how they are stimulating growth across the expanded mobile ecosystem.


The report, from global trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) today released its annual Global Mobile Money report in association with Wirecard and authored by Tim Green from Mobile Money Revolution, is based on a study of 15,000 mobile media users across 15 countries.

It shows that mobile banking continues to engage consumers - especially in mobile first markets. 69% of mobile media users globally carried out a banking activity via mobile in 2015, up 3% year-on-year; In Indonesia the figure was 80%, in Nigeria 85% and Kenya an incredible 93%.

Key findings

• Worldwide, 66% of mobile media users carried out a transaction via mobile in 2014; mobile banking was 69%

• 25% of feature phone users named social media apps as the their number one destination for mobile commerce

• 14% use their mobile device for shopping while engaging with other media like TV programmes

• Globally only 8% have used a mobile wallet

• A lack of trust remains the number one barrier in the way of growth. 36%, for example, say it prevents them from using a mobile wallet

E-commerce via mobile is also gaining traction, particularly in mature markets. 43% have bought a product on their mobile either by using a credit or debit card, an online payment service or a retailer’s branded scheme. In the US, 29% have inputed debit or credit card information into their device to make a payment versus the global average of 18%. In the UK meanwhile, 15% have used a retailer’s online payment service – the global average is just 9%.

By contrast, the study found that uptake of proximity payments was still in its infancy. Only 20% have used a mobile wallet, plug & pay device or mobile loyalty scheme which shows consumers are not yet convinced by mobile wallets. A third of people either haven’t heard of them (18%) or don’t see the point (15%).

Social media emerges as a key opportunity for mobile payments, especially in growth markets where feature phones are still dominant. A quarter (25%) of feature phone users say that a social media page is their number one destination for mobile commerce ahead of 15% of smartphone users.

Second screening is also having an impact. Of the 94% of mobile media users who use another form of media while browsing on their phones, 14% said they use their mobile device for ‘shopping or commerce’ whilst 32% say they search for information about the content they’re engaging with.

However, trust – or rather a lack of it – remains the single largest obstacle to growth. 34% of people named it as the reason why they don’t carry out more transactions on their phone – far outweighing other concerns like bandwidth and network speed. This increases to 36% when it comes to mobile wallets.

The nine trends that are shaping the way consumers spend:

1. In-store payments are still negligible

2. Consumers still don’t know why they need a mobile wallet

3. The social future of commerce

4. Will trust and security halt the progress of mobile money?

5. Are messaging apps the new shop windows?

6. Is second screening a shopping opportunity?

7. The return of the high street

8. How banking services are being ‘unbundled’

9. Authentication and why the fingerprint matters

MEF’s CEO Rimma Perelmuter commented: “There is no doubt that consumers are embracing mobile money. It’s a booming space and MEF’s annual study identifies the key drivers of social media, messaging apps and second screening underpinning its remarkable growth.

“The report is also a clear call to action for the industry to build trust in the mobile platform. Whilst the consumer’s appetite to browse, buy and bank on the mobile device is becoming prevalent, the adoption of many new services is still being held back by concerns about privacy and security.”

Christian von Hammel-Bonten, Executive Vice President Telecommunications, from Wirecard added: “Mobile money and payments are hot topics all around the world. With the launch of ApplePay in 2014, the interest in mobile money and mobile payment was spurred. At the same time, the digitization of financial products and services is ongoing at a high pace as the report points out. As a global technology company, we will support all these developments with our projects and are already curious to see the development of mobile money and payment in 2015.”

Download the full report here

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