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Are Mobile Payments Really as Popular as Studies Suggest?

mobile payments, mobile banking, daily deal mediaFor years, we’ve heard that mobile payments will represent the “next big thing” in eCommerce and permanently change the way Americans purchase goods and services.

In March, Daily Deal Media covered the freshly published findings of a recent U.S. Federal Reserve survey, which suggested that 20% of Americans used their mobile phones to access bank account, credit card, and other financial account information during the last twelve months.

According to the Fed, this reality foreshadows an immensely bright future for mobile banking. In fact, by the close of 2012, the Fed study estimates, the number of Americans that engage in mobile banking could be as high as one in three.

The Future is Here

With more than 5 months still remaining in 2012, it appears that the future envisioned for mobile banking in March’s Federal Reserve study has already arrived.

On Tuesday, IDC Financial Insights announced the results of the eighth annual Consumer Payments Survey. And the findings are truly staggering.

During the past twelve months, mobile payments have more than doubled in popularity, reaching over 33% of survey respondents. “Of those that had made a mobile payment,” IDC reveals, “more than half used PayPal Mobile (56%), with Amazon Payments and Apple’s iTunes service statistically tied at about 40%.”

For the second year in a row, the study shows, both biller and bank-operated online bill pay sites were used by more than 50% of the respondents.

Overall,” the report reads, “73.5% of U.S. consumers now use online bill payment. This confirms that online bill payment is now the dominant way we pay bills in the U.S.

The Mobile Banking Revolution Has Begun

Although millions of mobile phone users are chiefly targeted by mobile advertisers in response to their penchant for shopping online through their connected handset, IDC believes that the emerging popularity of prepaid cards and mobile payments should lend urgency to financial institutions’ efforts to develop products in these areas.

Demand is clearly there,” the report concludes, “and banks need to make sure they are not left behind by non-banks that are more narrowly focused on the opportunity.”

Based on our results, we expect to see continued growth in open-loop prepaid cards and mobile payments next year, and believe that the improvements being offered in electronic bill delivery will break electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) out of its doldrums as well,” says Aaron McPherson, Practice Director at IDC Financial Insights. “The advent of new card-linked offer programs should increase the influence of rewards on the average consumer, however, this will depend on how many banks choose to move ahead aggressively with these programs, and how many merchants choose to support them.

Source: IDC

Michael Essany

Michael Essany is a veteran marketing executive, bestselling author, and mobile technology blogger who has served as Vice President of Indiana Grain Company since 2008. A former E! Entertainment Television host and producer, Essany resides with his wife and daughter just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Michael is Daily Deal Media contributor specializing in Social Media, eCommerce (and mCommerce) and Mobile Marketing/Advertising. Connect: @Michael_Essany
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