Buying Stuff on a Smartphone? Many Just Don't See the Point

NEW YORK (LowCards.com) — The mobile payment industry may have a more difficult time than expected breaking into mainstream America.

Research from the marketing firm Placeable indicates that 90% of consumers won't use mobile payments when available, and a surprising 42% of consumers have never made a purchase on their smartphones.

The study looked at more than 1,000 consumers to learn about their mobile commerce behavior, and the research showed a serious lag in consumer adoption despite the growth of the mobile industry.

Placeable found more than 40% of search engine requests come from smartphones, and the average person spends 151 minutes a day looking at his or her phone. A whopping 70% of consumers said they trusted mobile payments — and 71% of consumers own a smartphone.

Thus, it seems security is not the issue keeping consumers from making mobile payments. Rather, it may be a matter of convenience: Most of the people who said they trusted mobile payments just didn't see a reason to use them.

Mobile optimization plays a role, with 30% of consumers saying they will not buy from a website by smartphones if it is not properly optimized, even as 60% of consumers say they use their phones to find products to buy online and in stores.

Online retailers now have to work to convert those shoppers into buyers.

"While smartphones are ubiquitous today, our research discovered that consumers' purchasing habits have been slow to adapt," Michael Bevan, director of marketing at Placeable, said in a press release.

Discounts and promotions may convince more shoppers to use mobile payments, the study says.

— By Bill Hardekopf for MainStreet

Bill Hardekopf is chief executive of LowCards.com, which compares and rates more than 1,000 credit cards. He is the co-author of "The Credit Card Guidebook."

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