News & Resources

Mobile commerce taking hold in Asia/Pacific market

Mar 29, 2013 Dave King

Among the many sources of electronic payments today, mobile has emerged as one of the most swiftly-growing, with a potential to go mainstream much like online shopping or credit cards did years ago. New data from MasterCard suggests that the trend is not only sweeping the United States, but other parts of the world as well.

According to the credit card company, more shoppers in the Asia/Pacific region are turning away from their home computers to make purchases in favor of their smartphones. Indonesians do the most mobile shopping, the study found, with 54.5 percent of survey respondents using their smartphones for this purpose in the three months prior. China ranked second at 54.1 percent, while Thailand scored 51 percent.

"With the exception of a few markets, online shoppers are becoming more confident about using their phones to shop and I'd expect that trend to continue as more sophisticated technologies come onto the market and more products are offered online," said Porush Singh, senior vice president of core products, global products & solutions for Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa at MasterCard.

Mobile commerce has also been found to be progressing in the United States. A recent study from eMarketer discovered that sales through these channels in the U.S. totaled nearly $25 billion in 2012, an 81 percent increase from 2011 figures. Researchers forecast that these transactions will continue to account for a larger share of the commerce market, possibly reaching close to $87 billion by 2016.

One thing that merchants may want to consider is adopting mobile payments technology in a manner that prioritizes security. MasterCard's data found that one in three consumers in the Asia/Pacific region perceived purchasing in-store as safer, and many Americans have been put off by the threat of identity theft, which could lead to consumer credit report damage. Addressing customer fears may be the next big challenge for developers and vendors.