A global survey of executives conducted by KPMG has found that the vast majority believe mobile payments will hit the mainstream within four years and nearly half say they think mass-market acceptance is only two years away.
A KPMG survey of nearly 1,000 executives in the financial services, technology, telecommunications and retail industries around the world has found that 83% of the respondents believe mobile payments will be mainstream within four years and 46% believe they will become mainstream in as little as two years.
72% of the executives surveyed said that mobile payments are now or will be reasonably important in the future. 58% say they already have a mobile payments strategy in place.
The majority of the business leaders surveyed believe consumers are currently concerned about security and privacy when using mobile devices — but that other factors are more compelling attributes of a successful mobile payment strategy. Specifically, 81% believe convenience/accessibility is the highest attribute, followed by simplicity/ease of use at 73%, security at 57%, and low cost at 43%.
The respondents scored banks and then credit card companies most highly when it comes to the types of organisation they felt would play significant roles in the mobile payments industry. Respondents placed telecommunications companies third, ahead of specialist online payment players such as PayPal, Boku and Obopay, online service providers such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, and retailers and technology companies. Among US respondents, online service provider giants placed third, followed by specialist online payment players and telecommunications companies in equal fourth, then retailers and technology companies.
Gary Matuszak, global chair of KPMG's Technology, Communication and Entertainment practice, says respondents may be underestimating the speed of adoption of mobile payments, however. "We believe that exploding smartphone growth and myriad opportunities will grow mobile payments at a much faster rate than our respondents anticipate," he says. "A wide variety of payments is ready for adoption, as several key players already provide or are rolling out mobile payments, and interest among consumers in utilizing mobile payments is growing, in line with the industry's readiness to deploy them."
"While there is consensus about the significant value of this opportunity among executives across geographies and industries, the type and size of opportunity varies between developed and developing countries depending on depth and reach of the financial infrastructure in place," Matuszak explains. "We believe that those firms willing to engage in cross-industry partnerships and co-opetition are more likely to succeed and dominate the market due to the complex set of business relationships required to deliver mobile payments to a mass market."