Mobile Payments Surging in 2012

More than one-third of consumers used a mobile phone to make a purchase in 2012, up from less than 20 percent a year ago, according to a new report from Massachusetts-based consultancy IDC Financial Insights. In its eighth annual Consumer mobile paymentsPayments Survey, IDC identified PayPal Mobile, Amazon Payments and iTunes as the most popular mobile payment services.

IDC found mobile payments are spread essentially evenly among payments made via smartphone apps, mobile browser, contactless payments and text message. At least 30 percent of respondents reported being interested in making payments through each of the four methods. So, while the report says that statistic “bodes well for the growth of the various digital and mobile wallets that have been introduced last year…it appears that consumers have not decided on a favorite mode, so scheme operators will have to continue supporting a variety of modes and platforms.”

Contrary to its expectations, IDC also found that more consumers used mobile devices to purchase physical goods (about 72 percent) than digital goods (65 percent) or online services (61 percent). The report says “this is good news for companies that are focused on working with brick-and-mortar merchants, such as LevelUp, PayPal, and Square.”


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