Samsung Pay celebrated its first birthday last month and hit 100m transactions worldwide (well, from the seven countries in which it was available). But in a world where m-commerce is surging, there still seems to be a lot of consumer resistance to smartphone-based mobile wallets in some countries. That’s despite many shoppers in those countries tapping their debit and credit cards on contactless payment terminals with increasing regularity.
A new survey illustrates this perfectly, It shows that the French are becoming avid m-commerce shoppers but it seems but they’re not too fond of smartphone payments technology.
The survey, by CCM Benchmark and reported by emarketer.com shows that French shoppers are buying fashion via their smartphones in increasing numbers (34% out of a survey group of 1,000 adult consumers), booking travel (40%), buying cultural items (that’s books and music to you and I with 33% of respondents buying them), and consumer electronics/household appliances (23%).
They’re also researching on their phones with 65% of them using those phones in-store to check out products and deals and take photos.
But mobile payments? Not so much. The French are saying a big “non!” ton smartphone/smartwatch payments at the moment. Most m-commerce transactions in France are still pretty ‘analogue’ with consumers preferring to tap their card details into the checkout form on a website or app.
In fact, only 7% of digital buyers had taken advantage of the ever-increasing number of mobile wallet solutions out there, which is a low number given that m-commerce shoppers might have been expected to be more mobile wallet-friendly than the average online shopper.
Around 27% of respondents did say they were ‘ready’ to use a mobile wallet but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll take action any time soon. And as many as 56% said they weren’t willing to pay that way.
Why is this? Unfortunately, the survey didn’t say. Maybe it’s security concerns, or maybe setting it up in the first place just seems too fiddly.
What often influences take-up of such innovations is a compelling piece of technology that makes it a no-brainer, or another change that drives fast adoption. In the UK, the ability to pay using contactless on London’s cash-free bus system was key for driving people to accept contactless payments in general.
In France, perhaps smartphone and operating system makers hoped their state-of-the-art devices had done enough to become that sort of catalyst. But not so.
At least the problem isn’t global. Those Samsung Pay figures and a survey this summer of 2,000 consumers in the US and UK by mobile engagement specialist Urban Airship, have showed a more favourable outcome for mobile wallets.
Urban Airship said 54% of US/UK consumers had used systems like Apple Pay and also see them as key for staying updated on sales, offers and coupons as well as boosting their interest in loyalty programs. Importantly too, 67% of millennials have used them and they’re also more popular among high-income households.
Perhaps the message from France to Apple, Google, Samsung, and the numerous banks now offering mobile wallet tech isn’t so much “non merci” as “s’il vous plaît être patient!” Maybe they’re just not ready for this giant tech leap forward… yet.