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Europeans slowly catching up with Asia for mobile payments

Consumers are increasingly using their mobile phones to make payments in Europe, finds survey

Consumers in Europe are beginning to warm to making payments using their mobile phones, according to research from ACI Worldwide and Aite.

The survey of more than 6,000 consumers in 20 countries found that the developed countries of Europe, as well as the US, are beginning to catch up on the developing regions, such as in Asia and Latin America in terms of the use of smartphone-based payments.

However, mobile take up will not be as fast in the UK due to the success of contactless credit and debit card payments.

In Europe, Spanish consumers are the most active, with a quarter (25%) making payments using mobile phones regularly, followed by Italy (24%), Sweden (23%) and the UK (14%). In the US, 17% of people regularly use their smartphone to make payments.

The launch of Apple Pay in the US three years ago is seen as a pivotal moment in the take up of mobile payments. Competitors Samsung and Google have also launched mobile payment services.

“Mobile wallets really started to grow in popularity after the launch of Apple Pay almost three years ago,” said Mark Ranta, head of digital banking solutions, ACI Worldwide.

“What we are seeing is a tipping point regarding adoption, which can be attributed to consumers worldwide now almost exclusively using payment-enabled devices, as older models have cycled out, with a few exceptions.”

India has the highest adoption levels, with 56% making payments regularly using their smartphone, followed by Thailand (51%) and Indonesia (47%). The use of traditional cards in countries such as these is not high and most people use mobile phones instead of PCs.

However, in countries such as the UK ,where contactless cards have been around for 10 years, people have been slower turning to mobile payments. According to research by Visa, 66% of people in Britain have used contactless cards to make a payment, compared with 26% who have used a mobile device.

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