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Smartphone becomes popular payment wallet in India: Nielsen

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MUMBAI There is no denying the fact that the smartphone has become an incredibly powerful tool of information, content and entertainment. And now it is rapidly growing to become a wallet, especially in India, with Paytm having the highest penetration as of December 2015 as per a Nielsen report.

According to data from Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights, the most popular mobile payment apps in terms of time spent, are those that provide services over and above pure payment like mobile recharging, ability to book movie tickets, shopping and so on. This ability to multitask creates a ‘sticky’ factor with users.

For most marketers, mobile payments have largely been considered a product for developed markets, but based on current trends in India they hold just as much appeal in developing markets. With over 6 billion mobile users, and with 4G entering the market, internet proliferation is expected to reach an all-time high in 2016. Putting the same in perspective with the findings of UK based Juniper Research, the adoption of mobile payment is projected to be strong.

More than one in three mobile wallets and over 50 per cent in developed markets, will feature contactless payment by 2018, says the research. The popularity of such apps has risen from over one-in-five active users last year to over one in every two users this year. 

An analysis of real time metered smartphone usage data with Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights reveals how Indian consumers are using mobile payment apps. Overall time spent on mobile payment apps has increased by nearly 1.5x, with users spending an hour and a half on mobile payment apps every month.

The study has also observed certain trends that have emerged in the Indian market:

Males drive the mobile payment category on smartphones

Mobile wallets have made transactions effortless, and more men seem to have embraced this concept than women. Mobile payment apps are 1.2 times more popular among men than women, and men are twice more engaged with these apps than women.

Small Town Buzz

Nielsen’s findings indicate that even though the penetration of mobile payment apps among users is similar across towns of all sizes (60 per cent of those in large towns and 58 per cent in small town use them), usage is higher among tier I and tier II users, with these consumers spending 109 minutes a month on these apps.

Less Is More

As per experts, the key to accelerate mobile payment app adoption is to make the payment process simple for the consumer. The less information the consumer has to manually enter, the better the adoption rate is. The other key factors that limit consumers’ willingness to use mobile payments include trust, convenience and unstable data connectivity.

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