Mobile Consumers in Asia on the Rise

mobile shop

 

As consumers in the Asia Pacific region increasingly turn to mobile transactions as a more convenient means of purchasing goods, forecasters are predicting an explosion of profitability in the sector.

The region is experiencing an ever growing demand for platforms which support and accommodate mobile shopping solutions.  A recent report published by MasterCard examining the Asia Pacific markets demonstrates that within the past three months around 40% of shoppers in Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore made purchases using mobile devices.  Over the same period 51% of consumers in Thailand, 53% in China, and as many as 54% of Indonesian customers made mobile purchases.

The trend towards increased mobile commerce has been simultaneously driven by the increasing preponderance of mobile devices in the region and expanding use of IT in the banking sector.  Predictions suggest retail banks in the area are the most prolific spenders on IT globally, with a further 5.1% growth predicted for this year, to take total outlay to US$118.6 billion.  The region’s banks are seeking to enhance and expand upon the services currently offered to customers in terms of online banking, which are increasingly accessed via smartphone apps.

A recent report published by MasterCard examining the Asia Pacific markets demonstrates that within the past three months around 40% of shoppers in Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore made purchases using mobile devices.

In late 2010, industry analysts predicted growth in excess of two-fold to exceed billings of US$3.6 billion by 2015.  Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Shaker Amin suggested that SMS payments, accounting for 82% of mobile payments in 2009, would remain the dominant method over the five year period, with other payment channels including WAP ((Wireless Application Protocol) and DMB (Direct Mobile Billing) also factoring into the market.

Mr Amin prefigured current trends by identifying emerging markets including China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines as key battlegrounds for the mobile payment sector.  Traditional banking services in these markets are skewed dramatically against large rural populations creating a greater need for online solutions.

by Sam Jones

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