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KPMG study finds Mobile Banking & Mobile Commerce Going Mainstream

2010 July 23
KPMG Mobile Commerce Adoption

Source: KPMG research released July 22, 2010 of 5,500 respondents worldwide

KPMG released new research yesterday on U.S. and global usage of mobile banking and mobile commerce that illustrates the rapidly growing importance of mobile commerce.

The study found that nearly 1 in 5 Americans use mobile banking (19%) and that 10% in the US have made a purchase from a retail mobile web site using their phone.

Mobile Banking is the first wave of mobile commerce. This study and similar studies support what we’re seeing anecdotally: Retail mobile commerce is following about a year to 18 months behind.

We’re seeing similar patterns with our retail clients that we experienced with banks and credit unions near the inflection point of the mobile banking hockey stick.

Mobile Banking is the first wave of mobile commerce

In particular for retail, the first movers already are in place with basic mobile web sites and a few experimental native applications are in the app stores. Mobile commerce is working for the first movers, now everyone else is scrambling to figure out their strategy and get a foothold in the marketplace without exposing themselves to too much risk.

This is exactly where mobile banking was in mid-2008 right before the economy went off the cliff and took the banks with it. In 2008 many banks, especially smaller ones, felt comfortable ignoring mobile banking because customers weren’t asking for it. In 2010, customers are demanding mobile banking and the institutions that waited find themselves two years behind their competitors that tried some sort of mobile offering.

Now, almost every institution, regardless of size, is working on plans to offer mobile banking

As an interesting side note, generally credit unions have been more aggressive at investing in mobile than banks of similar sizes and now often have a competitive advantage against the community banks that are just starting to evaluate mobile.

This is where retail finds itself now. Retail executives can choose to prioritize other initiatives over mobile because the impact of mobile isn’t showing up on their daily and weekly sales results. But like the bankers saw, it’s too late when your losing sales to the competition.

Mobile commerce is not simply a do-we-have-it or not decision.

Consumers use their smartphones to make purchasing decisions in your stores and on your website whether you have a mobile presence or not

Slapping up a poorly done mobile version of your web site when it becomes a crisis won’t help. Competitors will move onto better user experiences, innovative ways to make shopping — and conversion — easier. The amount of work to stay competitive only gets larger the longer an organization waits. For example, there’s a lot of innovation going on around Location-based Services, usage of cameras for barcodes and augmented reality, etc.  Furthermore, mobile marketing efforts will be critical for reaching consumers as traditional methods lose effectiveness.

Organizations delaying robust mobile efforts put their entire organization at risk.

Consumers use their smartphones to make purchasing decisions in your stores and on your website whether you have a mobile presence or not. Compete research found that 68% of consumers with smartphones used their phone to look up product information for an online purchase. 45% use smartphones to check reviews and competitor prices while in the store.

Consumers are also demonstrating they will purchase via mobile devices if you let them.

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