Data services to rule mobile usage


One in five UK consumers no longer uses their mobiles primarily for calls or texts

UK consumers are fully embracing the smartphone and all of its multimedia features, according to a new study, with one in five primarily using their mobile phones for data services, not voice and text.

Now, 16% of British consumers use their device for data, compared to 18% who primarily use it for phone calls or text messaging.

The study, from Assurant Solutions, reveals six in ten consumers, or 61%, now use their mobiles for emails, plus a further 61% use their device for browsing, almost half at 48% regularly use their phones for downloads, and one third use their smartphones for shopping.

The study also questioned consumers about the use of the mobile wallet and found that although eight in ten (79%) of consumers were aware of the concept, there were still a number of users that expressed discomfort in using their mobile device to pay for goods.

Only one third (36%) of people said they were likely to use their mobile to make payments. In addition, four in ten (41%) of those questioned said that they were unlikely to use a mobile wallet.

Andy Morris, chief marketing officer for Assurant Solutions in Europe, commented: 'More consumers than ever are using mobiles to bank, send and read emails and download music, so the risk of data loss continues to increase,' added Morris. 'The more data that is stored on a mobile device, the higher the risk if it falls into the wrongs hands. Payment card information, payment platforms and social media are all easily accessible on a mobile, leaving devices vulnerable to unauthorised use. Therefore, it's not just loss, theft and damage that consumers have to take into consideration when protecting their phone. Increasingly, the data accessed through the device also needs protection.'

Security concerns are a barrier to the increased use of the mobile wallet. Of those consumers who were unlikely to use their phone as a mobile wallet, almost a quarter (23%), responded by simply saying they would not use their phone to make any type of financial transaction, with 16% specifically worrying about security.

Morris continued: 'Companies from mobile phone operators to banks are developing apps designed to encourage consumers to use their mobiles as a payment device. While this has helped increase awareness of the idea, security concerns continue to affect the take up. As we encourage consumers to use their phones to make financial transactions, we need to help consumers take the necessary precautions to protect their mobile device and the data accessed through it.


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