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What Do People Use Their Smartphones For?

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What Do People Use Their Smartphones For?

As with technology and virtually anything else, consumers are liable to gravitate towards convenience. Where previous generations have shown wariness, newer generations have forged ahead expressing less apprehension in exploring aspects of technology that are potentially beneficial. Research provided by Parks Associates (NewsAlert) shows that 48 percent of U.S. smartphone users currently use apps for day-to-day information and entertainment, while 15 percent reportedly use their phone to order food and 12 percent use their phone to shop for goods.

Parks Associates, a research associate at Mobile Commerce World, is unveiling research which helps to back up the claim that smartphone users are increasingly becoming dependent on their smartphones to provide up-to-date information and entertainment. The mass transition to smartphones and tablets has provided a stage for a new move, a shift away from card and cash based transactions towards those done on mobile devices, creating a new “digital wallet.”

It is predicted that by the year 2015, 84 percent of mobile users in North America and 88 percent in Western Europe will be smartphone users. “Mobile payments in emerging markets pose enormous revenue potential. All major players are planning for a converged future where one digital wallet can be used for in-person retail payments and remote online payments,” said Harry Wang, director of Mobile Research at Parks Associates.

Of issues present giving smartphone users pause to transition to payments made through their devices, the most pertinent is security and ads removal. Only time will tell, however, as payment security standards increase and the industry continues to provide consumers with the benefits of mobile commerce, there promises to be a rise in consumers comfort level with mobile payments.

Companies like Square Inc. have found early success in mobile payment apps. Apps like Square Wallet allow customers to set up a tab and pay for their order with either their name or a barcode using a store credit, debit, or gift card. As of August 2012, Starbucks announced that it would use Square Wallet to process transactions with customers who pay via debit or credit card. Along with the implementation of Square Wallet in their shops, Starbucks also invested $25 million in the company.

In just one year mobile payments recorded by Square Inc. rose from $2 billion to $10 billion in 2011-2012. Though we are still in the early stages, the conversation of mobile payment strategies has begun to shift from a project run by IT to a real discussion amongst executives.


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