This article originally appeared on Khaleej Times.
Over the past few years, most banks have been satisfied to let start-ups and tech giants take the lead in piloting mobile payment solutions. They’ve opted to wait and see which, if any, of these efforts will gain traction. The rationale for waiting on the sidelines: relatively few bank customers use mobile payments—the early adopters who have the right phones and who seek out willing retailers.
That’s about to change. Many consumers already use their mobile phones to shop online, according to Bain & Company’s recent survey of about 25,000 consumers in the US and major Western European markets. In the US, 6.6 per cent of consumers said they have used their smartphones to make in-store purchases. Many more said they expect to begin shopping that way over the next few years.
Tom De Waele and Karim Ahmad are partners with Bain & Company.