Mobile commerce continues to expand

Mobile platforms, including banking, payments and purchases, are a growing industry, and the results of a new study show more Americans are trending toward this type of service.

A recent study conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association reveals 37 percent of individuals who own a mobile device – including tablets, smartphones and cellphones – conduct some level of mobile commerce, ranging from making online or in-store purchases to seeking out coupons and discounts from certain retailers. In addition, the study discovered that mobile transactions were spread out across a broad range of products, including clothing, music, books and electronics.

“The future of mobile commerce is very promising,” said CEA strategic research manager Jessica Boothe. “Consumers are open to new technologies as they continue to evolve and develop. With the growth of mobile devices, mobile commerce will play a more integral role in the everyday shopping habits of consumers, especially as they continue to seek bargains and comparison shop.”

However, there are still some concerns over the safety and security of mobile devices as a payment system that may be holding many consumers back, the study acknowledged. While 50 percent of survey participants said they do not use mobile devices to make purchases because they prefer other payment methods, 35 percent said they had security concerns.

“Consumers want assurances that their personal information is 100 percent safe and secure,” said Boothe. “They are not fully confident in technologies available.”

A separate report conducted by AlixPartners reveals that in addition to commerce, mobile banking is expected to increase significantly in the future, climbing to 50 percent of mobile users by 2016. As more consumers rely on this type of technology to manage their banking, credit and spending, retailers and financial institutions are scrambling to develop new systems and features to accommodate the growth.

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