UK Consumers Aren't Buying Into Mobile Payments

By Elizabeth PalermoSmall BusinessBusinessNewsDaily

Are smartphones destined to replace credit cards as consumers' payment method of choice? Shoppers in the United Kingdom don't think so. A recent study found that U.K. consumers are more reluctant to adopt mobile payments than shoppers in the United States are.

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As eMarketer reports, a February 2014 report by business consulting firm Bain & Co. found that just 3 percent of U.K. Internet users had used their mobile phones to pay for goods or services, compared with 7 percent of U.S. Internet users.

And it isn't that shoppers in the U.K. don't realize they have the option of paying with their phones. The survey found that 55 percent of respondents were well aware of what mobile payments were all about, but they simply preferred to pay with cash or credit. Moreover, some consumers were suspicious of certain kinds of mobile payments, particularly digital currencies like Bitcoin, the study also found.

While mobile payments have been slow to catch on in all the countries surveyed — including France, Spain, Germany and the United States — Brits, in particular, seem to lack faith in this new payment method. [10 Reasons Mobile Payments Still Haven't Caught On]

Another February 2014 study, this one conducted by payment solution provider Sage Pay, found that U.K. shoppers don't expect to switch to mobile payments anytime in the near future. The study found that 86 percent of U.K. Internet users said they'll continue to pay with credit and debit cards in 2025.

In addition, 76 percent of shoppers said they expect to still be lugging around a wallet 10 years from now, and only 16 percent of respondents said that by 2025, paper money will cease to exist.

The slow adoption of alternative payment methods by U.K. consumers has meant that few small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) have begun accepting mobile payments in their establishments. But business owners say they're ready to go mobile whenever customers are: 80 percent of SMB decision makers said they would consider adopting new payment options if their customers demanded it.

Originally published on Business News Daily.