IDC: One in three U.S. consumers using mobile payments


Thirty-three percent of U.S. consumers have now made payments via mobile device, roughly double the percentage of Americans leveraging m-payment capabilities just a year ago, according to IDC Financial Insights' eighth annual Consumer Payments Survey.

Among consumers who've made a mobile payment, 56 percent used PayPal Mobile, with Amazon Payments and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes service tied at about 40 percent each. IDC notes that despite iTunes' strong showing and the overall popularity of content like mobile applications and music, more respondents reported purchased physical goods with their phones than did online services, digital goods or virtual currency.

Mobile payments are not the only alternative payment platform to experience growth in the last 12 months: IDC states that network-branded (open loop) prepaid cards have now matched closed loop cards in regards to consumer penetration, making strides in all categories including benefit and payroll cards. IDC credits economic and regulatory factors, as well as more effective marketing by banks and independent issuers. In addition, for the second year in a row more than half of respondents used both biller and bank-operated online bill pay sites, with 73.5 percent of U.S. consumers now leveraging online bill payment services.

"Based on our results, we expect to see continued growth in open-loop prepaid cards and mobile payments next year, and believe that the improvements being offered in electronic bill delivery will break electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) out of its doldrums as well," said IDC Financial Insights Practice Director Aaron McPherson. "The advent of new card-linked offer programs should increase the influence of rewards on the average consumer, however, this will depend on how many banks choose to move ahead aggressively with these programs, and how many merchants choose to support them."

Mobile payment technologies continue to attract investor attention as well. On Tuesday, cloud-based m-commerce platform provider Paydiant announced the close of a $12 million Series B funding round led by Stage 1 Ventures, with existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners also contributing. Paydiant raised $7.6 million in February 2011.

Paydiant offers white-label services enabling banks and retailers to integrate mobile wallet capabilities into their branded iPhone and Android applications. The Paydiant platform also supports contactless transaction processing and offer redemption via existing payment terminals and point-of-sale systems without involving new intermediaries or requiring new hardware.

For more:
- read this IDC release
- read this Paydiant release

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