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Just under three-quarters (74%) of the UK’s consumers use mobile devices to bank, but despite this, the country is not even in Europe’s top 10 in terms of the proportion of people using mobile payments.
The findings of a survey by Visa of 36,000 people across 19 European countries revealed that Turkey has the highest proportion of people using mobile payments and mobile money management – 91%. The Nordic countries of Denmark (89%), Norway (87%) and Sweden (86%) were also in the top five, as was Israel (87%).
The survey classed an individual as a mobile payments user if he or she managed money or made payments using a mobile device.
Overall in Europe, 54% of consumers regularly use a mobile device to make payments for a range of activities, up from just 18% last year. Only 12% said they had never used a mobile device to make payments and had no plans to do so, compared with 38% last year.
Consumers are becoming more confident in making large payments on their mobile phone. For example, in the UK, more than two-fifths (43%) buy high-value items such as holidays and electronics on a mobile device as well as making regular transactions.
Mobile banking is increasingly used across all age groups, according to the report, with older people the fastest-growing group of adopters. In the UK, 46% of 55 to 64-year-olds now use a mobile device for banking.
Kevin Jenkins, UK managing director at Visa, said the survey provided evidence that the future of digital payments had arrived. “Visa sees smartphones and wearables as the beginning of a broader trend, with millions of new connected devices making it simple, safe and secure to integrate daily commerce transactions into almost any technology,” he said.
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“In Europe, we have recently seen Apple Pay launched in the UK, France and Switzerland, Samsung Pay has launched in Spain and Android Pay in the UK. We have also seen a new era of wearable payments – smartwatches, wristbands and even clothing. It’s clear that this trend will continue to accelerate, enabling consumers to choose the connected device that fits with their lifestyle.”
And the evolution of digital payments does not just involve mobile. The Visa research found that 58% of people in the UK used contactless cards this year, compared with 20% last year.
“The uptake of contactless cards has made a significant impact on normalising digital payments in the minds of British consumers, regardless of age,” said Jenkins. “The near-ubiquity of contactless card usage is gradually helping everyone engage with newer ways to pay, including mobile banking.”