Canadian smartphone users, specifically those who access the various mobile banking apps, have reached a “critical mass” when it comes to being aware of the ability to pay for products and services at the point of purchase via their device. According to SRG’s Digital Life Canada Survey this key demographic represents about 4 million Canadians. Their study was conducted of 1,000 Canadians sometime in the spring of 2012.
SRG also noted that “56% of them are aware of an upcoming service that would allow them to swipe their phone to pay for goods and services at check out.” This is up from 47% in 2011. Much of the increase in awareness is apparently from all the “buzz about NFC-chip enabled devices,” such as the Galaxy Nexus, Bold 9900, Galaxy S III etc.
Even though the awareness is high, adoption is a completely different story and still an uphill battle in Canada. Back in May Rogers and CIBC partnered up to bring the “the future of mobile payments in Canada.” Users will be able spend up to $50 on their CIBC Visa or MasterCard by simply tapping their NFC-ebabled BlackBerry device to a terminal (see here). In addition, the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) has started the process of getting all the correct steps in play for the “mobile wallet” revolution. They recently announced the “Mobile Reference Model,” which is basically a set of guidelines to “provide clarity to the marketplace.”
Everything seems to be falling into place. Consumers are more aware and demanding the service, plus respected organizations are shifting towards implementation. However, the biggest concern, which unfortunately increased over the year, is still security. Most of who are aware of the ability to pay would like to know more about the service before they commit to trying it out.
SGR based a “consumer trust level” on a 10-point system. At the top is TD and BMO with an average score of 7.5, followed by credit card companies like AMEX, Visa and MasterCard with 7.0; then mobile phone manufacturers like Apple and RIM at 6.7. Retailers, such as Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart almost came last with 6.5, but it’s our wireless carriers that took bottom spot – Rogers, Bell and Telus – with a score of 6.4.