Have you thought about switching bank accounts recently? If so, what's your motivation? For many people, the reason seems to be the chance to take advantage of mobile payment technologies, with research finding that close to half of consumers surveyed would switch accounts if their provider was unable to offer such a service.
The survey, from Zapp, found that 44% of respondents plan to switch accounts if their current bank doesn't offer mobile payments and had no plans to do so. Of those, a third (33%) said they'd switch accounts within a year, highlighting how fast such services are growing in importance.
In fact, enthusiasm for mobile payments has sky-rocketed in the last 15 months, with 28% of consumers having already used their phone to make a payment. This marks an increase of 64% from September 2013, and furthermore, 59% said they would use their phones to pay if a simple system existed that didn't require extra set-up (an increase of 48% over the same period).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, demand is particularly high among 35-44 year-olds, where 46% already make payments on their phone and 71% say they would if a simple system existed. Demand is expected to grow, too, with consumers saying that their mobile will become their preferred payment method before the end of the decade for a whole range of purchases, including sandwiches (51%), car fuel (52%) and travel tickets (57%). Almost half plan to use their mobile to pay for electronic products, and one in five (20%) even say they'd buy a house using a mobile payment.
Retailers need to be able to step up their game, too, as within five years, 47% of consumers say they will actively choose to shop online or in-store because that retailer accepted mobile payments, with 24% of these saying they would do so within a year. This figure is even greater among the higher-earning 35-44 age group, with 60% saying they'd choose a retailer for this reason.
Really, it's no wonder that mobile payments are growing in popularity. Not only is it a quick and simple method of payment, but 62% of consumers have their mobile 'within arm's reach' for at least 18 hours of every day, compared with just 55% who have cash at such close proximity. Then there's the fact that new services are often being introduced, and with such hype around the launches, their popularity can only grow.
"The success of early forms of mobile payment and the buzz around forthcoming launches has whetted consumers' appetites," said Peter Keenan, CEO of Zapp. "Anticipation levels are running high, and our research suggests that banks and retailers stand to gain significant competitive advantage from offering and accepting mobile payments early. I'm confident 2015 will prove to be a tipping point, as simple, secure mobile payments become a reality for millions of British consumers."
If you're thinking of switching bank accounts, be it for ease of mobile payments or any other reason, now's a great time to go about it. Competition is fierce in the current account sector with providers all clamouring for your business, and they're offering great deals to try and tempt you to switch.
Fancy a high interest current account as an alternative home for your savings? What about an account that offers cashback on your everyday spending, or one that comes with low overdraft fees if you're regularly dipping into the red? There are accounts to suit all needs and lifestyles, and with the Current Account Switch Service making it easier than ever before to make a change, it's time to do your research and see if you can find a better deal.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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