Mobile Payments Show Potential as Device Obsession Grows

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2014-12-11 Print this article Print
mobile devices and deloitte

As a corollary to their device addiction, consumers also are becoming savvier about pricing, both in terms of mobile devices and service plans.

American consumers are becoming increasingly obsessed with their devices – nearly 90 percent check their phone in the first hour of being awake and 23 percent look at their device up to 50 times a day, according to a Deloitte survey on mobile consumer trends.

As a corollary to their device addiction, consumers also are becoming savvier about pricing, both in terms of mobile devices and service plans.

In 2014 consumers identified the price of the overall monthly subscription as the top reason for selecting a mobile provider, and last year, friends-and-family plans, as well as the quality of the network, were consumers’ top choice.

With an increased awareness for price, 21 percent of consumers now plan to purchase a new smartphone within the next year, according to the survey.

While they may be more interested in saving, they’re consuming content more than ever before, with users increasingly enjoying high-quality audio and video content for their device.

The average consumer now using more than a gigabyte of data per month with the majority allocated towards video, and of those surveyed, 19 percent reported streaming television or film more frequently than in 2013.

Additionally, consumers reported 30 percent year-over-year growth in streaming music. On a weekly basis, 16 percent of consumers will use their devices to stream television or movies online and 43 percent of consumers will use their devices to stream music, or listen to online radio, led by younger consumers.

Survey results also indicated that in-store mobile payment technologies currently are underutilized by consumers in the U.S. – an attitude that could change given recent market developments like the debut of Apple Pay and increasing adoption of near field communication (NFC).

"As new devices employ the use of NFC technology, we would expect to see the use of mobile payments increase over the next year," Craig Wigginton, vice chairman and U.S telecommunications sector leader for Deloitte & Touche, told eWeek. "For mobile payments generally, growth opportunities exist-- the survey indicates that consumers want to use phone-based payment technologies for a wide variety of experiences, from pumping gas to paying parking meters to in-store purchasing and beyond."

The survey findings show that consumers are interested in mobile payment solutions almost anywhere they use some more traditional form of payment.

In addition, 31 percent of consumers who have a device with NFC technology, used it for mobile payments in the last month.

However, more than half of survey respondents said they would not use their mobile phone to pay even if the option were available to them.

"Our national device obsession offers some upsides. It provides ready access to a wealth of information to help improve our daily lives. Devices today are a key element of life style management through alarms, reminders, text, emails, social media, weather, traffic, and so on," he said. "Previously, this information was not as readily available at your fingertips, but with the ready access we now have the time to use our phones more extensively, and/or more time to spend on other daily activities." 

Wigginton also noted that clearly, society should want to avoid over-reliance on phones-- like everything there does need to be a balance, he said.

"Some unplugging would probably be good, especially in social situations."


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