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Mobile Payments

Smartphone adoption in UK reaches 51%, students lead the way

Wednesday 30 May 2012 | 01:45 PM CET

Students in the UK are embracing mobile money technology at a speedy rate as they were found to show the highest willingness to use their smartphones to manage their finances compared to any other group of people in the UK, a recent report has revealed.

According to the report issued by digital banking services provider Intelligent Environments (IE), 53 percent of UK students who own a smartphone would manage their bank accounts via their mobile devices, if they could, compared to 44 percent of employed consumers. A quarter (25 percent) of polled students with a smartphone meanwhile said they would use their mobile for peer to peer transfers, versus 22 percent of people in full or part-time employment.

Moreover, the report has found that British consumers who own a smartphone are increasingly seeking convenient solutions to meet their busy and demanding lifestyles. Half of workers (49 percent) and students (47 percent) admitted they would be interested in using their mobile devices, if possible, to swipe across a payment reader in order to wave and pay for goods or services.

Furthermore, the survey has revealed that 51 percent of British consumers now own a smartphone compared to a third (33 percent) in 2011. Additionally, Android continues to be the most popular operating system in the UK, accounting for 36 percent of the smartphone market compared to the iPhone’s 31 percent and BlackBerry’s 15 percent. This compares to 2011 figures where 28 percent of smartphone owners had Android devices and 26 percent used iPhones.

The study has also found that men are more at ease with mobile banking solutions than women, with 23 percent of the former saying they would pay a friend via mobile compared to 19 percent of women. Men are also more likely to manage their finances on a smartphone (46 percent vs. 37 percent), pay for tickets and events (32 percent vs. 27 percent), shop online (42 percent vs. 39 percent) and pay bills (35 percent vs. 32 percent). Children also were found to have an influence on the uptake of mobile money solutions as 48 percent of adults living in a house with at least one child are more likely to manage their bank accounts via mobile phone compared to 38 percent of people living without. 44 percent of adults in houses with children also said they would use their devices to shop online, compared to 39 percent in households without children.

Additionally, the report has shown that, of the unemployed people polled, 37 percent said they owned a smartphone compared to 28 percent in 2011.

Finally, the report has revealed that different forms of mobile money services have gained popularity in certain parts of the UK. Thus, consumers in the West Midlands and Wales are most likely to pay a friend by smartphone (27 percent); the Welsh are also most likely to manage their bank accounts via their smartphone (48 percent); Londoners are most likely to purchase tickets via their smartphones (38 percent); and mobile online shopping is most popular in Yorkshire and the Humber (48 percent) as is paying a bill with a mobile (41 percent).