The country's demographic dividend offers a great prospect for early adoption of mobile payments
With India's mobile subscription base crossing a whopping 90-crore mark, mobile payment industry is all set to explode. India's young generation and growing city population is going to help in fast promotion of mobile payment options. In its latest study, global payments and technology company, MasterCard has found that young and affluent would drive early adoption of mobile payments in India, besides other emerging markets.
MasterCard Worldwide's latest Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI) says that India achieved a score of 31.5, driven by high scores in the infrastructure component, moderate scores in financial services and consumer readiness, and lower scores in overall environment. Interestingly, India's annual investment in telecommunications of $69.7 billion and a high number of mobile phone subscriptions gives it a leading spot in infrastructure – the second best on the Index.
“The MPRI results for India are encouraging…there is a marked improvement on the familiarity of P2P (person to person) payments, m-commerce and POS (point of sale) transactions. The mobile payment industry will be largely driven by the young population and India's demographic dividend offers a great prospect,” says T. V. Seshadri, Division President, South Asia, MasterCard Worldwide.
MPRI, which is an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: P2P, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale (POS), found that while no two markets are the same, consumer readiness is the critical success factor to drive mobile payments adoption around the globe.
The MPRI identified Singapore, Canada, the United States, Kenya and South Korea as the most prepared markets. The Index indicates that while it's early stages for mobile payments adoption, all markets globally – either highly scaled and integrated ones like the United Kingdom or compact and technology-driven ones like Singapore – are making progress towards reaching an inflection point where mobile devices account for an appreciable share of the payments mix.
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. While this demographic was predominantly male in most countries, women showed higher levels of interest in countries such as China, Egypt and the Philippines.
In addition, findings of the MPRI reveal that partnerships among the key players in the mobile payments ecosystem are essential to accelerate the commercialisation of mobile payments. Cooperation and collaboration among financial institutions, telecom companies, governments, technology providers and others can foster an environment that enables a market to reach critical mass, it adds.