Market research firm YouGov has found 70% of British consumers haven't heard of mobile wallets and 91% haven't heard of NFC technology.
The results of an initial poll come as YouGov launches a quarterly survey that examines people's attitudes towards mobile payments.
The MobileWallet survey aims to measure the impact of mobile payments, the technology and the battle for control of the market between handset manufacturers, mobile operators and banks.
YouGov says that while hard work needs to be done to educate consumers of the benefits of mobile phone payments, once they see the advantages they will quick to adopt the practice.
To launch the survey, YouGov — which invites responses from an online audience of roughly 350,000 people — has released a range of statistics of current attitudes to mobile payments. The pollster found:
- 36% of respondents admitted they didn't know if their existing phone was enabled to make cashless payments
- 23% of the population is interested in using their phone instead of cash
- 81% of those interested in using a mobile wallet would use it for small purchases
- 39% could see themselves making bigger purchases including games consoles, clothes and even the weekly shop
- 64% of those interested in using a mobile wallet would like the payments to be linked directly to their bank account
- 60% believe supermarkets will be the first to adopt mobile payment technology
Additionally, 2% of respondents believe they already have NFC in their phone and 5% say that they will get the technology as soon as it's available.
Half (51%) of mobile phone owners expect that Apple will offer handsets with mobile payment capabilities, while 49% expect RIM's BlackBerry to offer them, and 43% would expect to find mobile payment on a Nokia handset.
YouGov researcher Russell Feldman says: "Many consumers are attracted by the idea of paying for items via their mobile phone. But it is down to mobile operators and handset manufacturers to work with retailers to educate consumers about the real advantages of paying for items in this way.
"We believe once people have seen it in practice — and are reassured about the measures in place to protect their financial and personal security — they will be quick to adopt it and the industry will reap the rewards."