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M-payments gain ground globally over the summer as consumers start to get comfortable…

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Mobile payments is gaining some consumer traction globally, with transactions via mobile jumping 27% from 13.8% of all transactions in April 2013 to 17.5% by the end of August. The bulk of growth comes from users starting to do more shopping on smartphones and tablets, with Europe leading the charge.

So finds the latest analysis of transactions running over Adyen’s global payments platform, which carries transactions for, amongst others, Vodafone, Mango , SoundCloud, KLM and PopCap Games.

Adyen’s data also reveals mobile’s penetration into various sectors that are traditionally dominated by Point-Of-Sale or online transactions. Travel, which has seen growth in m-payments of 20.5% growing from 20% to 24.1% of all travel-related transactions, with smartphones edging over tablet devices 13.27% to 10.9%. Adyen notes that the travel sector still holds the highest percentage of mobile transaction of any sector. The travel sector has been quick to embrace mobile applications and services that enable shoppers to transact on-the-go.

Retail, meanwhile, saw a more modest 16.75% as consumers used their mobile devices for nearly 17.5% of all retail purchases during this period, up from the 15% reported in the previous Index. Tablet use for retail purchases was nearly double that of smartphones (11.63% and 5.85% respectively), indicating a clear consumer preference for the larger user-friendly screen when shopping via mobile device.

Mobile ticketing purchases for concerts, movies, sports, theatre shows and other events represented 18.3% of all ticketing purchases, up from 15% – growth of 22%. Smartphone use in mobile ticketing was nearly twice that of tablet use (12.1% vs. 6.2%), indicating a strong consumer preference to pay on the spot, avoid queues and receive the electronic ticket directly on the phone to be scanned at the entrance.

Mobile digital content purchases – which include books, movies, music, software, and services – increased from 15% to 16.5%. The share of smartphone purchases in this category grew significantly, by more than 25% this period (to 10.9%), while tablet use decreased more than 19.5% (to 5.6%).

Adyen attributes this to rising sales of larger-screen smartphones, which are increasingly used for watching films and reading ebooks or news. Smartphones are also more convenient than tablets for downloading and listening to music on the go. Many tablets are only connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, which inhibits people from purchasing digital goods on the go.

Of all the sectors covered, only gaming showed an overall decline in mobile purchases, to 8.5% down from 9%. Smartphones, however, continue to be the platform of choice, representing 6.7% of mobile gaming transactions.

The Index also found that the overall percentage of worldwide purchases made using both mobile phones and tablet devices increased during this period (smartphones from 6.5% to 9.2%, tablets from 7.4% to 8.3%).

However, in a reversal from the previous Index published in May 2013, tablet devices lost share to smartphones, decreasing during this period from 53.2% to 47.4% – the lowest percentage since May 2012, while smartphone usage increased from 46.8% to 52.6% – the highest percentage since May 2012.

A possible reason Adyen puts forward to explain this reversal is a changed behaviour in the summer vacation season, whereby highly portable smartphones are much more convenient for on-the-go mobile purchases than less portable tablet devices.

iOS devices accounted for nearly 75% of all mobile transactions on Adyen’s platform (which equals 13.1% of all transactions, up from 11% in April 2013) and Android devices were responsible for nearly 25% of mobile transactions (4.3% of all transactions, up from 3.1%). Windows Mobile captured 0.6% to BlackBerry’s 0.3%. In the last three months, Windows Mobile grew rapidly, with purchases made from the platform increasing by 20%.

With its heavy concentration of mobile users, Europe still leads the world in terms of mobile payment transactions, with 18.16% of all transactions leveraging this channel, up from 15.4% in April. This is an increase of 18% over the four months from May to August. Broken down by form factor during this period, tablets represent an 8.4% share of total transactions in Europe; smartphones 9.7%.

The share of mobile payments in North America has also surged, up from 11.2% of all transactions in May to 16.6% in August. Conversely, Asia saw a decline from 12.4% to 11.4%. South America’s mobile payments market is relatively nascent, but the Index recorded that 4.2% of all transactions were made via mobile device in August.

In North America, smartphones remain the primary mobile transaction device, taking 10.8% versus 5.8% via tablet. In Asia, tablet use has eclipsed smartphones for payments with 6.3% compared to 5.1%, but in South America tablets reign, taking 2.8% of transactions, double the smartphone figure of 1.4%.

“Mobile commerce continued its significant growth with a 27 percent increase in transactions over the last four months and double-digit growth across almost every sector,” explained Roelant Prins, Chief Commerce Officer, Adyen. “As our data sample increases in size and scope, clear patterns for mobile purchases are emerging, such as the increasing importance of tablet for retailers and smartphone payment for the ticketing industry. Armed with this data, merchants can tailor their sales strategies to increase mobile conversions.”

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