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Survey: P2P mobile won't catch on

Mobile person-to-person payments not for developed markets

A consumer survey in seven countries on three continents has found consistently low levels of interest in making person-to-person payments via the mobile phone.

The ABI Research survey polled subscribers, equally divided by gender, in Germany, France, the UK, the US, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. About 200 respondents participated from each country.

While there were differences across age groups and between countries, the overall results showed that only 16 percent of Western Europeans surveyed considered themselves "extremely" or "very" interested in mobile P2P payments, while in the United States, the percentage was only 9 percent.

Consumers in the three Asia Pacific countries showed much greater interest - 34 percent.

According to senior analyst Mark Beccue: "It's tough to make a convincing case for mobile P2P in most developed markets. This survey confirms ABI Research's assessment of mobile P2P's potential in the United States and Europe.

"We believe it will have minimum impact in these markets because some forms of electronic P2P such as PayPal have operated there for several years with relatively low market penetration; and because these markets boast extensive ATM and banking networks, giving consumers easy access to cash to conveniently conduct P2P transactions."

If a similar survey were to be conducted in developing markets the results would likely be very different, says Beccue.

"In parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America which generally lack good tools for convenient P2P transactions other than face-to-face, mobile payment methods will be huge."

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