Mobile payment gaining in popularity among consumers

Mobile payment gaining in popularity among consumers

A new survey found about half of smartphone owners are already using some type of mobile payment and 17% of smartphone owners now use mobile wallets. WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL
A new survey found about half of smartphone owners are already using some type of mobile payment and 17% of smartphone owners now use mobile wallets. WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL

Around half the smartphone owners in Thailand are already using some form of mobile payment via their devices, according to a survey.

The survey involving 2,000 respondents by mobile marketing research company Marketbuzzz, in conjunction with its parent firm Buzzebees, found that 50% of smartphone owners are already using some type of mobile payment and 17% of smartphone owners now use mobile wallets.

Mobile payment -- the ability to complete a transaction on a smartphone -- is disrupting the traditional way of making payments.

The findings show the current state of digital payment adoption and how mobile phones have affected the ways in which people use the devices for payments.

Mobile payment is gaining momentum, fuelled by the growth in smartphone users and increasing adoption of a digital lifestyle, better telecommunication infrastructure and financial payment processes, and the government's push of a national electronic payment system.

Mobile banking and mobile shopping are the top two mobile payments with more than half of smartphone owners using them.

Mobile banking is used more frequently averaging six transactions per month per user, while mobile shopping averages 3.8 transactions per month.

The survey also found that 17% of smartphone owners use mobile wallets, yet there is much potential as mobile wallets are used more frequently than all other payment options except mobile banking.

TrueMoney has the highest usage at 51%, followed by Line Pay at 30% and AIS's mPay at 28%.

Although still in its infancy, users of mobile wallets say that it's very easy to use and would be more popular with increased points of service, better feedback and improved interface.

The survey found that two-thirds of users of mobile payment systems would use mobile payments about the same amount as they do now -- five times per month on average -- and the rest would use it more often.

Respondents agree that mobile payment makes payment easier, provides more choices for payment, allows them to make payments anywhere and anytime, and are faster than other methods.

Although there is some concern about security, 55% of users believe the level of security is high.

"As mobile payment gains momentum the study highlights the opportunities that exist for mobile payments," Grant Bertoli, chief executive of Marketbuzzz, said.

"We are entering a new era in payments, utilising the mobile phone, which will clearly reshape the entire financial system based on consumers' demand for convenient, faster and more efficient payment methods."

"People want real-time or immediate payments, and using your phone instead of carrying extra cash or more cards offers a viable alternative," he said.

Mr Bertoli added that while consumer demand was there, there is also the need for greater collaboration in the payment ecosystem between banks, retailers, telecom providers, financial technology companies and associated governance, to ensure that new methods of payment are fast, seamless and secure.

No doubt the opportunity is there for Thailand's mobile payments to become a viable everyday option for payment over the next few years, he said.

"We chat on our mobile phones, we surf the internet on them, we game on them, so why not make payments on them," he said.

Marketbuzzz currently utilises the user base of Buzzebees which has over 22 million users, the biggest in Southeast Asia.

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