ABI Research Surveys Find Security Concerns Remain Biggest Barrier to Mobile Transactions in 2009

NEW YORK – According to two surveys of US mobile phone users that were conducted by ABI Research, most consumers’ preferences and choices when using their mobile phones for shopping have remained largely unchanged between late 2007 and late 2008, indicating the barriers to mobile money services remain strong.

However on a more positive note more than half of all the respondents have purchased at least one ringtone, suggesting that low-value transactions are less threatening to consumers. Respondents also showed some willingness to have mobile purchases added to their wireless phone bill.

“Consistent from year to year, a little over one-half of all respondents are not interested in using their mobile phones to make purchases,” says ABI Research senior analyst Jeff Orr. “Transaction security was cited by 71% of mobile phone users as a major concern preventing wider uptake. As consumers become more comfortable with transaction security by establishing trust with transaction vendors, more emphasis will be placed on the speed of the transaction.”

Text marketing messages remain unpopular with consumers, although some indicated that they were open to inducements such as free content aimed at converting a message to a sale.

Senior analyst Mark Beccue adds, “As smartphone penetration increases, more merchants will introduce mobile shopping, spurring growth. Smart merchants will focus on the advantages of mobile, such as impulse shopping and real-time auctions.“

The surveys, each of which sampled more than 1000 mobile phone users in the United States aged 14-59 and across a wide range of demographic profiles, were conducted in November 2007 and December 2008. They queried users’ preferences with regard to a variety of mobile phone and content usage questions.

“US Mobile Phone Purchase Trends”

(http://www.abiresearch.com/products/research_brief/Consumer_Mobility_Research_Brief/133 and http://www.abiresearch.com/products/research_brief/Mobile_Money_Research_Briefs/109) compares results of the two surveys, and includes survey methodology, responses laid out in charts with additional summaries and analysis, and respondent classification/demographics.

It is one of a series of Research Briefs comparing the results of ABI Research’s 2007 and 2008 consumer mobile content surveys across a number of topics.

They are all included in two of the firm’s Research Services, “The Mobile Consumer” (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/The_Mobile_Consumer_Research_Service) and Mobile Money (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Mobile_Money_Research_Service).

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of emerging trends in global connectivity. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers through research and advisory services in seven key practice areas. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.