Third of global online transactions now mobile


For the first time smartphones more popular than tablets for online retail purchases

Browser-based online transactions globally are on the rise according to a new study. Now, over one third (34%) of these transactions are made on a mobile device, compared to just over 30% last quarter.

The increase is driven particularly by major Asian-based payment methods including JCB, UnionPay, and Alipay, the study from Adyen, a global payments technology company, shows. JCB recorded the highest share of mobile payments across all the payment methods analysed, with 54% of payments on the Adyen platform made on a mobile device, up from 47% last quarter. Alipay increased to 44% and UnionPay to 31%.

The 2015 Q4 edition (September to December) of the quarterly Mobile Payments Index, which tracks mobile payment data from browser-based transactions across Adyen’s customer base, states that in terms of payment methods globally, PayPal continued to grow, at 42%, compared to 40% last quarter. In Europe, iDEAL (Netherlands) was steady at 49%, Open Invoice (Scandinavia) reached 47%, in Bancontact/Mr Cash (Belgium) was at 39%, and SEPA Direct Debit (Europe-wide) at 22%.

“Visa and MasterCard have been king of mobile payments for a long time, but these statistics show that it is no longer the case,” said Roelant Prins, chief commerce officer, Adyen. “We believe that mobile payments, both in app and browser-based, are driving the growth of ecommerce, and are particularly impressed by the acceleration in mobile payments for methods such as JCB, PayPal, and UnionPay.”

Shoppers have generally preferred making retail purchases on tablets rather than smartphones. However, the Index shows that for the first time, smartphones have overtaken tablets as the preferred device for making online retail purchases, at 17.5% on smartphone against 16% on tablet, compared to 14% and 17% respectively last quarter. This compares to 27% of digital goods payments on mobile against 7% on tablet, figures that are consistent with last quarter.

Smartphones continue to grow their share of mobile payment volume, increasing 2% from last quarter to 68% on smartphone versus 32% on tablet. This trend of smartphone increasing its share has now been continuing for 10 straight quarters.

On a regional basis, smartphone use far outweighed tablet in Asia, with 29.5% of online payments on a smartphone compared to 4.5% on a tablet. Europe and the US displayed a similar but less pronounced trend, with 23% of online payments on a smartphone and 11% on tablet in Europe, and 23% on a smartphone and 8% on a tablet in the US.

But despite the overwhelming popularity of smartphones over tablets in terms of making a purchase across both regions and verticals, one bright spot for tablets is that in terms of average transaction value (ATV) for device types, for the first time, the iPad led the way, at $107, edging out not just smartphones, but also desktop/laptop, the traditional leader, at $106. This was followed by the Android tablets at $86, iPhone at $83, and Android smartphones at $73.

Among individual markets, the UK continues to lead the way in mobile payment adoption, with 49% of online transactions on mobile device (and just over 34% of these on a smartphone). Among other high adoption markets, the Netherlands reached 35% (23% on smartphone), and Sweden 32% (25% on smartphone).


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