Offering Payment Services from Mobile Phones an Incentive to Stay With or Change Banks

Fifty-​three percent of consumers interested in a payment service from their mobile phone would consider changing banks if another bank offered the service, according to a survey conducted by an independent research firm for Obopay.  Nearly three-​fourths (70%) of those responding indicated that if the service allowed them to get paid, send or receive money by mobile phone, it would be an incentive to remain at their banks.  The survey also revealed an important requirement for consumers, as the vast majority of respondents (71%) indicated that if transactions were "instant" – defined by most as "within seconds" – they would be more likely to use a payment service on a mobile phone.  Getting paid by mobile phone also ranked high in the survey, with 64% saying they would be interested in accepting either personal payments or payments for their businesses from a credit card, debit card, or electronic check from a mobile phone. 

In addition to their preferences for a service offered from their bank, the survey also identified consumer interest in a number of use cases:

  • 58% were interested in a service that would let them send and receive money from family and friends instantly.
  • 56% were interested in sending or accepting payments using a simple text message in a similar manner to donations made in support of the Haitian Earthquake relief effort.
  • 61% were more likely to use mobile phone payments if the service was provided by their banks.

"Our research and market experience continues to show that people want mobile phone payment services from their banks; however, there are a growing number of non-​bank providers who are targeting this market and seek to displace the banks' traditional role in payments," said Obopay Senior Vice President Michael Diamond.  "Our latest research shows that offering this service would prove a competitive edge for banks — a way of both keeping existing customers and attracting new ones."

[Source:  Mobile Phone Payment Survey.  Toluna Survey and Poll Services/​Obopay.  19 Oct. 2010.  Web.  24. Oct. 2010.]