October 20, 2010

A little more than half of consumers who are interested in the ability to make mobile payments from their cell phone would consider leaving their bank for one that gives them that capability, according to research commissioned by Redwood City, Calif.-based mobile payments provider Obopay.

Altogether, 53 percent of consumers interested in making phone-based payments would consider changing banks for one that offered the service. Meanwhile the ability to send and receive payments via mobile device were generally desirable to consumers surveyed, with 70 percent indicating a service that allowed them to send and receive payments through their phone would be incentive to stay with their current bank. A larger number of survey respondents - 71 percent - said transactions that took place instantly, or within a matter of seconds, would incentivize the use of mobile phone payments.

Obopay, which released the survey results at BAI Retail Delivery in Las Vegas, is one of several vendors showcasing mobile payments technology at the event. David Schwartz, Obopay head of corporate and product marketing says it's good to see the competition, and that now is a time where available technology and consumer behavior are at the right point for banks to consider adding mobile payments to their arsenal of services.

The cell phone payment technology Obopay was demonstrating at BAI allows for instant payments through a web interface, app or text message.

“Our research and market experience continues to show that people want mobile phone payment services from their banks; however, there are a growing number of non-bank providers who are targeting this market and seek to displace the banks’ traditional role in payments,” said Obopay Senior Vice President Michael Diamond. ”Our latest research shows that offering this service would prove a competitive edge for banks - a way of both keeping existing customers and attracting new ones. What we weren’t surprised about was the fact that consumers have a very clear expectation that mobile payments must be instant. The old ACH system of payments just isn’t going to work in an ever increasing mobile world.”