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M-commerce increase expected to expand use of payment cards

29 April 2011 - 14:06 by Simon Crisp

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The latest figures suggest that UK consumers may soon be making payments with their credit cards via mobile phones in greater numbers than ever before.

The British Retail Consortium has released stats which show that the number of shopping-related searches made on smartphones increased by 181 per cent over the first three months of 2011.

The implication is that interest in m-commerce as a means for safe shopping online is increasing at an incredible rate and, as such, people will be paying for products with credit cards linked to their mobile phones.

Most important is the news that 11 per cent of all consumer searches during this period were made from mobile devices, indicating that more and more people are leaving their laptops and desktops alone when they want to look up a product.

Multichannel retailers saw searches rise by 42 per cent in the first quarter, while firms dealing only in the world of e-commerce saw a more modest but nonetheless encouraging 19 per cent increase.

The long and the short of it is that UK consumers are getting more confident in using mobile phones for safe shopping online and in particular are looking to search for products and compare prices before they commit to a purchase.

The BRC's Mark Bowerman, said that the growth of e-commerce was taking some firms by surprise and a greater degree of understanding is required in order to exploit its full potential.

Mr Bowerman said that while the news of faltering consumer confidence and economic gloom was definitely going to make a mark in the short term, the long term growth of online shopping will need to be considered by those involved in the running of the businesses that stand to benefit from its expansion.