Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mobile micropayments

Those hard-working people at and JR Tokai Express Research have published the findings of a survey into use of contactless IC mobile payment systems, two years on from their launch in Japan. The 32% of the total sample group which had RFID funtionality in their handsets were asked a variety of questions about usage patterns. Over 40% of this subgroup had some experience of mobile payments via RFID in the handset, and nearly a quarter (23%) of this claimed to make use of the feature frequently. As for payment scenarios, 82% claimed to have used it to make payments in convenience stores, the most popular response, followed by "shopping" at 40%, and paying for train tickets (using the Mobile Suica service) claimed 20%. This latter result is pretty high, in my opinion, considering that this handset-based service was only launched at the end of January. Only 10% of respondents described themselves as being "very familiar" with the new credit card functionality being added to handsets via RFID, though 80% claimed to have some familiarity with the concept. So, for now at least, it looks like micropayments and commuting behaviors dominate the space.