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How does the UK place in the new world of Smartphonatics?

A study of mobile banking and payment adoption rates in 14 countries has discovered a new category of consumer: the "Smartphonatic." This person uses their smartphone enthusiastically when shopping for products and services as well as when they interact with their banks.

They are an emerging consumer force and are being credited for driving the adoption of mobile banking and payments because they believe mobile payments and banking is important and are more willing to try new technology if it will benefit them. However, while the smartphone is an agent for change – simply owning a smartphone does not make one a smartphonatic.

Globally, nearly 25 per cent of consumers can be classified as Smartphonatics, and as you would expect this segment trends toward youth, being made up of primarily Gen Yers (36 per cent) and Gen Xers (33 per cent). The number drops significantly among both Baby Boomers and Seniors with 18 and 6 per cent worldwide respectively. The U.K. sees an interesting generational switch with more Gen Xers (46 per cent) than Gen Yers (41 per cent) but mirrors global trends among Baby Boomers (8 per cent) and seniors (5 per cent).

Something that may have been less expected is where the U.K. ranks as a country in the Smartphonatics league. With Smartphonatics penetration at 16 per cent, it stands in 10th place behind India, South Africa, Brazil and China, among others (but ahead of its European neighbours France and Germany.) It if were a premier football team the U.K. would be facing relegation.

With a smaller population of Smartphonatics in the U.K., there is a great opportunity for growth into a new market. The smartphone is an agent for change and its use by Smartphonatics is setting the bar for how financial institutions and retailers will have to respond over the next five years to stay competitive.

Financial institutions, retailers and processors trying to generate mobile payment interest and demand should, therefore, deploy marketing programs which clearly demonstrate the convenience and benefits of replacing cards with a mobile wallet.

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