Demand for mobile payments rises

Consumers and businesses want the ability to make interbank payments immediately via a mobile phone, according to new research.

VocaLink, an international payment specialist, has published ‘Voice of the Customer’ research that shows mobile payments hold a strong appeal for the modern consumer due to its speed and convenience.

The research also reveals an increase in customer recognition of the Faster Payments Service. The research, conducted with consumers and small and medium enterprises during July 2010, looked to measure the appeal of making and receiving interbank payments, in real time, from a mobile phone and to establish what was considered important when using such a service. The research also measured their awareness and experience of faster payments in the UK.

The research was conducted using the new VocaLink Immediate Payments proposition as the model to test consumer attitudes. This proposition, to international communities, leverages VocaLink’s experience in building and operating the award winning UK Faster Payments Service.

According to the research, rather than using cash, cheque or card, immediate payments would be the most popular payment method option for transferring money to friends or family (53%) and when paying urgent bills (44%). Consumers would also be willing to pay 5p per transaction to use the service.

For people used to making online payments, they would find the Immediate Payments service via the mobile phone appealing as it means they would not need to access a PC or go through the usually complex process of logging in. A mobile phone is considered much more accessible, easy to use and convenient.

Small and medium enterprises were also questioned as part of the survey with 76% agreeing the service would appeal to them as a small business. Being paid straightaway is the most widely perceived benefit of the Immediate Payments proposition, followed by the certainty of knowing you are paid, no late payment and no bounced cheque. Such was the appeal to sole traders over traditional payment methods that they would be willing to pay the cost of the payment themselves rather than their customers having to bear it.

Kris Kubiena, director of consulting services at VocaLink, said: “Our research shows that as mobile phone usage continues to grow, Immediate Payments has the potential to become ubiquitous. In today’s modern world, both consumers and small businesses need to be able to move money instantly and easily. The Faster Payments Service in the UK has facilitated this requirement and now we have the ability, through Immediate Mobile Payments, to offer this service to international audiences.’’