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Some 78% of mobile media users surveyed last year across 9 countries reported having made a purchase using their mobile phone during the prior 6 months, according a Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) study [download page]. Physical products and digital content were the most commonly purchased items, per the study, which also found 35% (30% in the US) having paid for items directly from their phone bill.

That marked a substantial rise from 2014, when just 14% of respondents had a payment made directly to their phone bill. This method proved most popular in Nigeria (42%), but also China, where 39% reported having done so in the previous 6 months.

Chinese respondents also were ahead of their mature and emerging market counterparts in other mobile payment methods:

  • Almost half (47%) had made a purchase via an app (where the app provider had a record of their credit/debit card details), compared to the 31% 9-country average; and
  • Some 38% had made a purchase via a mobile wallet in a store, more than double the 9-country average of 18%.

The most common way of purchasing items or services via a mobile phone is by typing credit or debit card details into a mobile website, cited by 41% of respondents. This was easily the most popular method used by respondents in mature markets (UK, US, France, Germany), while also most popular on average among emerging markets (Brazil, India, South Africa, Nigeria).

Trust may play a role in that result: when asked which processing method they trust the most when using a credit or debit card, almost twice as many respondents pointed to typing details into mobile websites as did storing the details in an app.

About the Data: MEF’s Mobile Money Report was commissioned by global trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum. The field study was carried out by On Device Research in Q2 2016. It questioned nearly 6000 mobile media users in 9 countries, namely: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, UK and US.

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