Concerns about security and a lack of compelling services are stopping mobile wallets from catching on in the UK, according to a new survey.
Digital banking provider Intelligent Environments polled companies within the mobile banking and payments sector, including O2, Microsoft and Lloyds. A quarter of the companies were confident mobile banking would become a mainstream offer by next year, with a third opting for 2015. The survey said this summer's Olympic Games in London would be a means for businesses to showcase their mobile banking products.
However, the services are very much in their infancy, according to two thirds of those polled. Despite the recent rollout of Barclays Pingit service, only 9% of the companies polled said the UK was faring well in mobile financial services, compared to the rest of the world. More than 80% of those surveyed said security concerns were chief among consumers' reluctance to sign up to mobile banking and 33% said a lack of a killer product was holding back services.
Andrew Tobin, chief technology officer at O2 Money said: 'As with internet banking or internet shopping, the security of mobile banking transactions is something customers will quickly get used to as they see how convenient and simple it is.
'In the next one to three years, the public will become familiar with using phones to transact as a matter of course, and further capabilities, such as money-saving coupons and vouchers, will become popular as they will be automatically integrated with the purchase transaction.'
James Richards, director of mobile at Intelligent Environments, who conducted the survey, added: 'UK companies have been slow in rolling out mobile banking and mobile payments services compared to their US and Asian counterparts. However, with the mobile money ecosystem beginning to come together in the UK, a whole host of offerings are set to explode onto the scene.
'A great deal of work and education is still required by the industry to encourage adoption, let alone mass uptake, but the Olympics will be a great showcase for what mobile financial services have to offer and how consumers can benefit.'
Editor: Graeme Neill