Which Region is the Next Big Center of Mobile Finance?

October 1, 2015         By: Steven Anderson

We’ve seen a lot of gains made lately in mobile finance, with new developments cropping up most everywhere, from North America to Asia and beyond.

However, a recent Amdocs study suggests that the next big market for mobile finance options will be a little unexpected: Europe.

The Amdocs study unearthed a strange fact that will likely be a major driver of European mobile finance in the coming months: nearly half of all European respondents have never actually used a mobile payments system before. No mobile banking, no mobile healthcare payments, not even so much as a dose of Apple Pay down at the corner store for a Cornetto and a Diet Coke.

That’s impressive enough, but there are also signs that this market is interested. Ovum staged a report in the region suggesting that 15 percent of respondents were likely to put mobile financial services products to use in the next 12 months, and a further study found that 50 percent were likely to if there were a sufficient reward attached, something that a lot of apps are turning to these days.

There were even clear goals for mobile financial service providers, as expressed by user preferences. Almost half of respondents at 45 percent believed greater data security was the biggest factor to drive increasing use of such services. A similar number, 44 percent, cited ubiquity of service—it can be used in the widest number of places—and rewards weren’t too far behind at 37 percent. Low transaction charges were on the minds of 32 percent, and overall ease of use came into play for 30 percent of users.

We all know that the United Kingdom has made serious advances in mobile payments, but so far, that particular trend hasn’t been reflected over the rest of Europe. But knowing what we know now about mobile finance systems, and what the users expect out of such systems, it should be comparatively easy to build an optimized system and get it into the hands of tech-savvy users who want access to such things.

Admittedly, it won’t be a total conversion—there are plenty of parts of Europe where Internet access of any sort is as tough to come by as it is in the rural locations of the United States—but there should be a substantial number of first-time users that live in connection-rich cities that are eager to get in on mobile payments with the proper inducements.

With more mobile payments systems coming online, and many more embracing the idea of reward and convenience to make cash seem less like a viable alternative, we may well see more rapid adoption rates of mobile payments systems. Europe looks like a pretty prime market for growth after all, but it likely won’t be alone on this front.