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41pc of consumers want to pay bills via mobile: survey

February 22, 2011

Talk to the phone

While 41 percent of consumers say that they would like to pay bills on their mobile phone, more than half are concerned about the security of mobile transactions, according to a Nuance Communications Inc. survey.

The recent Twitter poll conducted by Nuance Communications on consumer preferences for mobile customer service, transactions and security found that nearly a third of consumers believe that voice biometrics is the best method for verifying their identity on their mobile device. 

“Having a mobile strategy will be a key differentiator for enterprises and brands alike to maintain and build their customer base,” said Hetal Pandya, director of product management at Nuance, Sunnyvale, CA.

“Customers like to solve their own problems without having to speak with someone,” she said. “It is about convenience and consistent customer experience.

“Ensuring that they have figured out how their consumers will consistently discover their mobile service is key to their ROI.”

Mobile financial services poll
According to the Nuance poll, 84 percent of consumers contact customer service via their mobile phone and 16 percent use an existing application on their mobile phone to do so.

More than half—53 percent—of consumers polled said that security risks are a main concern when they complete a transaction on their mobile device, signaling the need for enhanced mobile security and identity verification, especially given the range of transactions that consumers want to complete on their mobile devices.

The survey found that there are a variety of tasks that consumers would like to complete on their mobile phone but currently cannot.

For example, 41 percent of consumers say that they would like to pay – phone, utilities and credit cards – on their mobile phone, while another 47 percent said that they would like to check their account balance via mobile for companies they do business with.

Nearly 70 percent would like the ability to automatically run a diagnostic program and fix their phone when there is an issue with it, while 51 percent say that they would like to be able to self-activate their phone upon purchase.

Given the wide range of transactions that consumers would like to complete on their mobile devices, nearly a third of consumers said that their preferred method of verifying their identity on their mobile device would be through their voice.

The growth of users calling the contact center with their mobile is growing rapidly. Users want their mobiles to be far more automated from initial activation to detecting and fixing device issues.

Although more than 40 percent of consumers want to be able to perform tasks like paying bills and checking their account balances via their mobile phones, security and privacy are slowing down the adoption of U.S. consumers from using their device for transactions and transferring sensitive information.

Ms. Pandya said that she expected consumers to want increased automation with their mobile devices – what was surprising was the level of security users want and need to feel comfortable making transactions on their mobile – specifically retinal scans versus voice prints.

Mobile payments is just starting to trend in the United States, in comparison to developing regions that have been driving rapid adoption of mobile payment for some time now.

The investment in this type of technology slowed during the economic downturn, but Ms. Pandya said Nuance is seeing a reinvigorated energy to deliver services and experiences consumers are asking for.

“Given the sophistication of authentication solutions such as voice biometrics,  we expect that mobile payments will begin an upswing since these types of technologies give enterprises and, most importantly, their customers the reassurance that their mobile transactions are secure,” Ms. Pandya said.

Final Take
Nuance mobile developer program

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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