Study: Security concerns hamper mobile shopping

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Consumer attitudes toward shopping via mobile device remained largely unchanged between late 2007 and late 2008 according to separate surveys of U.S. subscribers conducted by market analysis firm ABI Research, suggesting barriers to mobile financial services remain strong. In November 2007 and November 2008, ABI surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. mobile users between the ages of 14 and 59 and across a range of demographic profiles--both studies queried consumer preferences on a variety of mobile phone and content usage questions, and from year to year, more than half of respondents said they are not interested in making purchases from their handsets. ABI notes that 71 percent of respondents cited transaction security as the major concern preventing adoption.

Conversely, more than half of respondents have purchased at least one ringtone, suggesting low-value transactions pose less of a security threat. In addition, ABI reports respondents showed some willingness to add mobile purchases to their wireless bill. Consumers also expressed their dislike for text-based marketing messages, although some respondents agreed they are open to some types of inducements--e.g., free content aimed at converting a message to a sale. "As smartphone penetration increases, more merchants will introduce mobile shopping, spurring growth," said ABI Research senior analyst Mark Beccue in a prepared statement. "Smart merchants will focus on the advantages of mobile, such as impulse shopping and real-time auctions."

For more on the ABI study:
- read this release

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