Mobile payments to hit over £1.2bn per week by 2020 as cash transactions continue to tumble

Mobile payments are set to boom in the UK as a new report by Visa suggests that over £1.2bn will be made per week via the method by 2020.

Consumer adoption of mobile payments will grow faster than ever in the next five years, with six in ten Britons (60 per cent) expecting to use their mobile devices for payments at least once a week by 2020.

According to the Mobile Money report, which surveyed over 12,000 consumers in the UK, Finland, France, Germany, Poland, and Spain (2000 from each country), one in four Brits expects to use their mobile phone to make payments on a daily basis by 2020, growing from the one in 12 who do so already today.

The average shopper expects to spend £27 on mobile each week by 2020, £10 more than is spent today and nearly a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) predict they will spend more than £50 a week using their mobile device by 2020.

The increasing publicity around m-commerce options, digital wallets and contactless payments, has led 43 per cent of shoppers to say they would be interested in using a mobile wallet service and nearly half (47 per cent) are interested in using their smartphone to make everyday contactless payments in a shop.

Jeremy Nicholds, executive director for mobile, Visa Europe said that while the company is excited by the figures they "could be rather conservative" and predicted that the actual adoption rate will be much higher.

"This is particularly true when you look at the growth in contactless usage, which saw European usage double and spend triple over the last 12 months. Contactless and online commerce enhancements have been key in paving the way for the next generation of mobile payment technology. The environmental conditions are already in place to meet the demands and expectations for digital payments.

"It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ consumers will embrace this new way to pay – it’s when – and for us the next 12 months are when mobile payments become mainstream, he said.”

The report also found that while apps and music are still the items purchased most frequently via mobile devices today, a growing number of consumers are already buying higher value items, with electronics (23 per cent) and clothes (22 per cent) among their top-five most purchased m-commerce items.

When looking at the main concerns about mobile payments, a third of respondents admitted that they didn’t know enough about it. As with other new technologies, this has resulted in apprehension around issues such as privacy, fraud and security.

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