Over a quarter of Brits keen to use mobile payments

London - 26 April 2012

Increase in number of smartphone users willing to ‘wave and pay’

The appetite for mobile payments in the UK is strong with 29 per cent of British mobile owners keen to use their mobile more than cash or cards to pay for goods or services less than £20 if their phone had the capability. This is according to a recent YouGov consumer survey conducted online on behalf of Intelligent Environments (IE), a digital banking provider. The figure rises amongst 18-24 year olds who own a mobile phone, with 41 per cent who would choose to use their mobile more than cash or cards to pay for goods or services less than £20.

The research polled smartphone users and found that given the choice:

  • 41 per cent would shop online using their phone
  • 34 per cent would pay a bill using their phone
  • 30 per cent would pay for tickets using their phone
  • 21 per cent would pay a friend or relative (peer-to-peer payment) using their phone

If their phone had the capability, 49 per cent of smartphone owners would be interested in swiping their phone to make a payment in-store. This figure rises to 61 per cent of iPhone owners, but falls to 47 per cent of Android and 39 per cent of BlackBerry owners who would like to swipe their phone to make a payment in-store. This is an increase on 12 months ago when 42 per cent of smartphone users said that they would like to ‘wave and pay’[1].

The poll found that iPhone users are most inclined to use their phone as a wallet with 60 per cent saying that they would like to manage their bank account (average 42%), shop online (58% vs. 41%), pay for a travel ticket (46% vs. 30%), or pay a friend or relative (29% vs. 21%) using their mobile phone.

The desire to use a mobile phone as a wallet was less fervent amongst females and Blackberry smartphone users, with 33 per cent and 35 per cent respectively who would use mobile payments more than cash or card to pay for goods or services worth less than £20.

James Richards, Director of Mobile, Intelligent Environments, said: “As our research continues to show, consumer appetite to use the ever-ubiquitous mobile device to make payments and manage money is alive and kicking. From mobile operators to financial services companies, businesses in all sectors are taking full advantage of this trend and rise in consumer smartphone adoption, evident from the first mobile wallet offerings beginning to enter the UK market. To ensure their success, businesses need to provide compelling and intuitive mobile applications and services that bring convenience and simplicity to consumers’ lives.”


[1] Statistic sourced from YouGov, Total sample size was 2001 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 21st March 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figure has been weighted and is representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2300 adults, of which 1174 were smartphone owners. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 25th April 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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