UK Consumers Want New Payment Methods, If They Come From Banks

What's Next In Payments®
5:52 PM EDT February 19th, 2013

New research from VocaLink has revealed that 81% of British consumers have a desire for new digital payment methods. However, if these payment methods are to be successful, they need to be provided by banks, it was also revealed.

The research, originally designed to look into Britons’ smartphone and tablet payment habit revealed that 33% of smartphone owners in the UK have used them to shop online, and 42% for online banking.

Paul Stoddart, managing director, strategy and business development, VocaLink, commented: “These figures demonstrate the opportunity to revolutionise the UK payments industry using portable devices to support the growing population of people who already transact digitally. Growth in use of these devices is exponentially faster than it was for services using fixed Internet connections.”

“Mobile payments have long been seen as the next revolution in payments. Yet despite the popularity of smartphones and tablets and a number of companies entering the space, no one payment method has as yet succeeded in achieving ubiquitous adoption,” he noted.

The 81% number is encouraging for the British payments industry, however, banks are still regarded as the main actor for financial products. “Banks are trusted to provide safe and secure transactions, regardless of channel and the delivery of alternative payments is a clear opportunity for banks to maintain and build greater customer engagement,” Stoddart commented.

But are British banks up to the challenge? Most banks provide some sort of mobile banking service, but only Barclays offers a real mobile solution through Pingit – which has seen very little adoption. With the only universal mobile payments solution to be developed by British banks delayed for yet another year, customers in the country might have to shift their opinions and embrace newcomers, if they really want to benefit from alternative payment solutions.

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