According to the results of the latest MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), there is strong willingness amongst Kiwis to adopt mobile payment methods with New Zealand ranked 17th out of 34 countries surveyed. However, familiarity with mobile payments is low suggesting that more can be done to educate consumers.
“New Zealand is moving fast in the area of mobile payments. With high smart phone usage and hundreds of thousands of chip-enabled cards already in market, this is an exciting time as we continue to progress towards a world beyond cash,” said MasterCard New Zealand Country Manager Albert Naffah.
“We have the right emerging infrastructure to make mobile payments methods widely accepted, but the fact that willingness to adopt is high and familiarity is low signifies that more consumer education is necessary before we see broad acceptance,” Mr Naffah continued.
“There is a big opportunity for the industry to get behind consumer education and communicate the richness that mobile payments offer, along with benefits like speed and security. This will help drive familiarity levels up and increase the readiness for mobile payments products in New Zealand.”
“While the necessary conditions for the adoption of mobile payments are consumer acceptance and industry cooperation, no one entity can develop and promote mobile payments by itself. Collaboration between telcos, banks, government and technology providers will be key to fostering an environment that will enable New Zealand to reach critical mass.
“Partnerships will also greatly accelerate progress and it’s encouraging to see the industry working together. The recent TSM NZ Joint Venture announcement is an exciting collaboration and an example of the fast moving mobile payments environment. Our launch earlier this year of PayPass Wallet Services will make a collaborative approach even easier.
“What’s remaining is for the roll out of mobile NFC infrastructure, which we are likely to see in Q1 of 2013 from the TSM JV, and more contactless terminals to be put in place. The challenge to the industry here is to replicate the Australian experience where there are already 75,000 contactless terminals in the market.” Mr Naffah concluded.
The Index, which offers a comprehensive view of the current state of mobile payments as well as the course they will likely take in the near future, both regionally and on a country level, examined consumer responses across the three different payment types; person-to-person, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale.
New Zealand earned an overall score of 32.7, just below the index average of 33.2 on a scale of zero to 100. No market reached a score of 50, indicating there is still work to be done before mobile payments become mainstream.
MasterCard considers that a score of 60 on the MPRI will indicate that a market has reached the inflection point—the stage at which mobile devices account for an appreciable share of the payments mix. The most advanced market in the Index, Singapore, attained a score of 45.6, with Canada, the United States, Kenya and South Korea the next most prepared markets.
The Index also found that in some markets such as Australia, young affluent consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 years old are the most willing to engage in mobile payments as they recognise the value of using mobile payments instead of cash or payment cards.
New Zealand’s regulatory system scored high marks in efficiency (82 percent), beating the industry average (68 percent) for both the protection of intellectual property rights and financial assets and the effectiveness of laws relating to information and technology. In addition, New Zealand’s laws relating to information and communication technology were found to be well developed, receiving a score of 73 percent versus an average of 65 percent.