7 years ago

Does mobile travel have a problem if four out of five consumers say they would never buy from a handset?

An in-depth report into online fraud and how companies are dealing with such activity also claims 78% of consumers will never make a booking on their phone.

The annual Cybersource UK Online Fraud Report, which surveys both companies and consumers, inevitably focused on website-based issues – a third of online merchants seeing an increase in business lost to fraud – but threw in the nugget of negativity on one of its last pages.

Responses to the question “Would you use your mobile to purchase online?” were as follows:

  • 78% – No, never.
  • 8% – Yes, would consider it.
  • 4% – Yes, would definitely.
  • 10% – Do not own a mobile.

The survey was carried out amongst 1,000 UK consumers in October 2009 and questioned those who buy both offline and online.

Cybersource says the result was similar for those who are primarily online buyers, with 76% saying they still wouldn’t buy via a handset.

The report says:

“Mobile payments mean different things to different people; this undoubtedly contributes to a lack of consumer understanding of, and trust in, the concept.”

The question for travel firms – such as Kayak, which is looking at introducing payments via handsets – is whether they can convince consumers to trust them to handle their mobile booking for them.

The survey notes:

“Mobile payments may be the next big thing, and fraudsters will certainly be looking to exploit this new channel, but until adoption increases it’s too early to tell exactly where the risk lies for merchants.”

Mobile payments may be the next big thing, and
fraudsters will certainly be looking to exploit this new channel, but
until adoption increases it’s too early to tell exactly where the risk
lies for merchants.
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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in 2017.



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  1. Stuart

    The stats really need to be broken out by handset — how was “mobile” defined? For eg what about an iPodTouch?

    I’d never use by Nokia to make an online purchase — never — but wouldn’t think twice about making a purchase through iTunes on an iPhone or iTouch — do it every day.

  2. David Janes

    This question is basically isomorphic to “are you an early adopter” – almost down to the percentage point (12/90 would buy = 13.3%!). Breaking new ground is not for everyone, but when they see their friends buying a can of coke with their cell phones, they’ll come around sooner than later.

  3. People fear booking on a mobile but will happily receive tickets | Tnooz

    […] on the heels of research yesterday that indicated an apparent mass reluctance to make bookings on handsets is better news for the mobile travel sector – ticketing is […]

  4. Joe Buhler

    Share the optimism expressed by the commenters. It’s still early days in the mobile space when it comes to purchase. One key criteria is obviously safety and as it was mentioned, only a few years ago that was the #1 reason surveys showed people mentioning when it came to buying travel online. The facts show that once brands were established and trusted and systems put in place to reassure consumers about safety the numbers increased. The same will happen with mobile. Maybe not to the extent that people will purchase two weeks family vacations on a smartphone but certainly simpler components and local services. I can also see the day when that vacation is planned, researched and yes, booked right there on and iPad.

  5. Joe Ascanio

    With the emergence of mobile app stores and the “shrinking” of robust interfaces to accommodate every (or almost every) device, I think these numbers are bound to balance out and eventually favor those who WOULD purchase on a mobile device. As is, the future of data information is entirely mobile – the days of desktop computers are numbered.

  6. Stephen Joyce

    It’s a glass half full argument for me. I’m more excited by the fact that 8% of people who have mobiles would be willing to purchase using their mobile. Considering the number of mobile phones in circulation, that is a HUGE number. Sorry for being the eternal optimist.

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  8. Project Latitude

    Well, if the context of the research is fraud, it may not be surprising to see those results.
    As the other reviewer pointed out, we have been purchasing via mobile phones before and mostly billed through phone carriers.

    Assuming a branded trust system is in place there is no reason to see limitations on mobile terminals, being an iphone, an android device, and iPad or some sort of connected gizmo to the cloud.

    Habits will change and certainly real time scenario will be the first real drivers of mobile payments.

  9. Darren Cronian

    Don’t millions of us already purchase apps, ringtones, screensavers etc via our mobile phone? Yes, I realise travel is not compairable but remember the late 1990s when online shopping came on to our PC screens, how many of said then we wouldn’t buy anything online and now do?

    Secure payment systems are essential and I think it comes down to trust.


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