“Smartphonatic.” I know what you’re thinking – another cutesy catchphrase. Yes – I’m deathly sick of those, too.
But listen to this – according to business, technology and regulatory research firm Aite Group and ACI Worldwide – 80 percent of Smartphonatics have used their device for banking purposes and about 70 percent have completed mobile payments on said device. Still not wow’ed? Among “non-Smartphonatics,” less than one-quarter have made a mobile payment with their mobile phone; only one-third have completed a mobile banking transaction.
By definition, the phenomena described in “The Global Rise of Smartphonatics: Driving Mobile Payment and Banking Adoption in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific,” a research report released today that surveyed 4,200 people in 14 countries, defines the consumer segment as anyone who alters their shopping, financial and payment behaviors as a result of owning a smart phone.
But being a Smartphonatic goes way beyond ownership, said Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite Group, during a media lunch in midtown Manhattan. A non-smartphonatic may browse the Web with their device, but never shop, complete financial transactions, check financial accounts or make payments with it. So what does this mean for businesses, namely financial institutions that are among the most regulated of regulated bodies in existence?
Expect to see a convergence of “banking, shopping and payments” coming down the pike that coincides with the evolving “consumer experience,” and an inherent move away from a cash-and-checks economy where the purchase and the payment were more “disjointed.” Mobile-savvy consumers, especially Generation Y, “check their (bank) accounts before, during, and after transactions,” according to Ralph Dangelmaier, president of global markets and services at ACI Worldwide, and merchants, payment solutions companies, and banks will have more cross-sell opportunities and avenues to embed loyalty rewards than ever before. When it came to loyalty, more than twice as many Smartphonatics “always try to choose retailers whose loyalty programs they belong to,” the report indicated.
In the survey, generational differences in smartphone usage were stark. About 36 percent of GenYers (ages 20-31) can be classified as “Smartphonatic.” Nearly a third of GenXers (ages 32-46) are, too. But when it comes to Baby Boomers (ages 47 to 65) – the number drops to 18 percent, with only six percent of seniors (66-plus) classified as Smartphonatic. Geography played a part, too. India had the highest concentration of “Smartphonatics,” at 60 percent. The U.S. did not lag far behind, at 20 percent, and France and Canada were on the low end of the scale – barely 10 percent of consumers in those countries were classified as being Smartphonatics.
Smartphonatics, naturally, have more affinity for the digital wallet and “express a very strong interest in replacing the cards in their wallet with a mobile device.” Google Wallet and Isis came up in the conversation, and of course, Apple, which was credited as “being able to almost create their own demand” in this area when and if the company follows through with developing an Apple iWallet powered through iTunes. According to Shevlin, a “huge Achilles heel” for the company, in this regard, will be about the data and analytics. “Google is good with data,” he reinforces, adding that a huge deterrent for any mobile payments development, Apple aside, will be regulatory in nature.
But, it appears that Apple – which, as of late, is building out its own “internal take” on Google Maps – is well-positioned for that challenge.