• A new KPMG study shows China and India are leading the global take-up of mobile transactions, for both retail and banking
• Despite concerns over privacy and data security, consumers in Asia Pacific (ASPAC) are actively embracing mobile networks as their de facto telecommunications standard
• Brazil, India, Russia and China (BRIC) respondents have demonstrated greater willingness to pay for both online and mobile content, compared to G7 or global users, including content like news and information
Consumers in the world's fastest developing economies, China and India, are leading the drive for personal banking and retail transactions via their mobiles, according to a new survey by KPMG.
Despite concerns over privacy and data security, 77 percent of respondents in China (More than twice as many people in the previous survey) said they have used their mobiles for banking, and 44 percent for retail transactions (Almost three times as many people in the previous survey).
In India, 38 percent said they used mobiles to shop and 43 percent for financial transactions (A significant increase over the previous survey, 8 percent and 2 percent respectively).
Consumers in China, India, Brazil and Russia (BRIC) are also more willing to pay for both online and mobile content, compared to G7 or global users as a whole, including content like news and information. The survey found they would also consider switching internet service providers for exclusive content.
These are insights from "Consumers and Convergence IV", the fourth edition of an annual KPMG survey, which examines how consumers use technology. Covering 22 countries, the 2010 report surveyed over 5,600 people on their day-to-day use of mobiles and PC technology.
According to the survey, consumers, particularly in Asia Pacific (ASPAC) are increasingly adopting a variety of mobile and cloud-computing applications. They are also more willing to use their mobile phones for financial transactions, as well as receiving ads in return for cheaper basic services.
This is a global trend too. Compared with only 18 months ago, the global percentage of respondents who have used their mobile device for banking has more than doubled from 19 percent to 46 percent, while the percentage that have used it to buy goods and services has increased from 10 percent to 28 percent.
Sean Collins, Global Chair, Communications and Media, KPMG, said: "Compared with our last survey which used data from 2008, the 2010 survey shows conclusively that mobile internet is rapidly opening up a new marketplace. China and India lead the world in acceptance of mobile banking. Naturally, this reflects the fact that those countries are far less penetrated by bricks-and-mortar banks than in the West but it also shows a high degree of acceptance of the way in which new technology can change society."
BRIC consumers have embraced mobile networks as their de facto telecom standard. They are much more willing to pay for content, and are more open to receiving mobile advertising. Globally, 57 percent of respondents said they would never pay for frequently used content. However, the survey found that BRIC respondents are twice as likely to download a mobile application, compared to a G7 consumer (75 percent versus 35 percent). Twenty-two percent of BRIC mobile users said they are willing to pay for an entire sites' content compared to eight percent of G7 mobile users.
Edwin Fung, Partner-In-Charge, Information, Communications & Entertainment, KPMG China, said: "The BRIC countries, as newer economies, have typically not had the reliable telecommunications infrastructure that are typical of G7 nations. Hence, they have more actively embraced mobile networks as their de facto consumer telecommunications standard. As converged online and mobile services have become available in China, so consumers there are also early and aggressive adopters, well ahead of Europe and America."
The surge in the use of mobile phones to conduct financial, banking and retail transactions coincides with another significant finding in this year's survey - that of a greater willingness on the part of some consumers to offer up their personally identifiable information (PII) and use their mobile devices to manage personal applications such as banking or medical transactions. Referred to as "Information Sharers" in the KPMG survey, 48 percent were China respondents, while Indian consumers totalled 17 percent.
"Information Sharers" are more likely than others to buy goods from a retailer using their mobile phone, to use mobile banking applications on a daily basis and access their bank information on a mobile device at least once a month. US consumers were least likely to fall into this category, with only 4 percent making up this group, despite comprising 12 percent of all respondents.
Privacy remains an issue however, for most respondents. Even though consumers are increasingly willing to accept targeted PII-based advertising, particularly in exchange for lower cost or free services and content, they also expressed more anxiety about data privacy and security.
"The survey also noted a marked difference between users in their willingness to offer up personal information about themselves, in order to manage personal applications such as medical or banking. Only 4 percent of US consumers were happy to do so whereas 48 percent in China were. In the West, we are likely to see calls for more regulation over security and privacy but there is likely to be far less pressure for this in Asia," added Sean Collins, Global Chair, Communications and Media, KPMG.
- Ends -