Consumers Embrace Mobile Commerce Globally: 91% in UK and 79% in Brazil Have Used Mobile to Engage in Commerce

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Over a quarter of North American consumers would buy more often on their mobile if they trusted the security. MEF expands mission to represent the mobile content and commerce ecosystem

Consumer engagement in mobile commerce has exploded globally, according to data from the Global Consumer Survey from MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce.

Globally, North America holds a steady middle ground in mobile purchasing, with 38% of respondents having paid for items via their mobile network operator in the last six months. It is also clear that significant numbers of consumers in the region are embracing the mobile web (41%), retailer mobile storefront (11%) and social media page (9%) as points of purchase. These figures could increase if security concerns were addressed, as 26% of consumers cited lack of trust in the security as a reason for not making purchases more often on their mobile.

Interestingly, the U.S. mobile purchasing usage, though pervasive, is still behind other countries’ usage. As much as 91% of UK respondents have used their mobile device for commerce, to either research or purchase a product. The equivalent figure for Brazil is 79%, while the level did not dip below 72% in any of the markets surveyed.

These figures come from MEF’s Global Consumer Survey which was conducted in nine countries across five continents, with a total of 8,530 respondents from both developed and developing markets.

MEF expands mission to represent wider mobile ecosystem

“This global research clearly demonstrates that consumers across the world are embracing mobile as a key access point for their content and commerce needs,” commented Andrew Bud, Global Chairman, MEF. “It also illustrates that mobile is an essential platform for companies wishing to drive consumer engagement and
monetize their goods, services and digital products.”

This change in consumer habits – and as a consequence, the increasing focus placed on mobile by a growing number of companies – is the reason why now is the right time for MEF to expand its mission to include the entire mobile content and commerce ecosystem. The fact that organizations such as The Coca-Cola Company, A&N Media and Barwa Bank have joined MEF reflects both the evolution of the organization and the industry as a whole.

“As a global organization with strong local representation, MEF is ideally placed to shape the industry, connect thought leaders, drive monetization opportunities and provide competitive advantage for mobile content and commerce leaders,” said Rimma Perelmuter, Executive Director, MEF. “Over the past 10 years, MEF has helped to grow mobile content into the $36 billion industry it is today, assisting its members in navigating the complexities of the channel and capitalize on its opportunities.”

More recently, companies from a range of verticals have contacted MEF because they are interested in leveraging its expertise, skills and global network. Gary Schwartz, CEO of Impact Mobile and Chair of MEF North America noted that “from a payment standpoint, MEF's remit has expanded to support digital and virtual goods billed to the wireless carrier as well as physical goods purchase via a mobile wallet or through NFC. MEF will work to develop critical security and privacy guidelines and the business models to accelerate shopper and shop confidence in these new commerce channels."

These approaches have been fuelled by MEF’s already deep engagement in mobile commerce. Over the past 18 months, the organization has led a global mobile commerce initiative promoting the enormous commercial potential of the mobile channel. This work includes a partnership with ASC X9, the U.S. technical group that develops financial industry standards, to establish privacy and security standards to advance m-Commerce. Concerns about security were cited by an average of 27% of respondents across all markets surveyed as a reason why they did not make more purchases using their mobile devices.

“We look forward to working with all of our members, be they mobile operators, content owners, brands or financial institutions, to ensure the delivery of a robust and trusted mobile commerce experience for all consumers,” concluded Perelmuter.

About the MEF Global Consumer Survey
The MEF Global Consumer Survey was conducted in June 2011 by OnDevice Research on behalf of MEF, among 8,530 respondents across the following nine countries: Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the U.S. OnDevice Research uses its own mobile survey technology and global research panel.

About MEF
MEF is the global community for mobile content and commerce. It is the leading trade body for companies wishing to engage consumers and monetize their goods, services and digital products via the mobile connected device. MEF provides competitive advantage to its diverse membership, shapes industry growth, connects thought leaders and spearheads ground-breaking initiatives which explore and promote monetization opportunities.

With global headquarters in London and operational chapters and offices in Asia, EMEA, Latin America, Middle East and North America, MEF is a member network with global reach and strong local representation, ideally placed to drive market growth. Established in 2000, MEF provides an impartial, consistent and powerful voice for the foremost companies and entrepreneurs from across the mobile content and commerce value chain. For further information and a full list of members please visit:

About MEF’s expanded remit

  •     MEF is expanding its remit to represent the full range of players in mobile content and commerce – from mobile specialists to more recent mobile adopters, such as retailers, brands, publishers and financial institutions
  •     Mobile entertainment remains a core part of MEF’s activities
  •     Representing this wider ecosystem, MEF continues to:
  •     Shape the ongoing development of the industry through its policy activities. Working with Governments, regulators and key ecosystem players at a local level throughout the world, MEF protects members’ revenues, maintains a robust and equitable business environment and facilitates ongoing growth.
  •     Connect the industry by creating unrivalled business development and networking opportunities. These include the invite-only MEF CEO Summit, MEF Global and MEF Americas conferences, bespoke market-entry facilitation events and industry-leading parties at major events throughout the world.
  •     Monetize in partnership with its members by creating and driving ground-breaking initiatives – including m-Commerce, Smart Enablers and Apps among many others – that explore new business models, address impediments to growth and drive opportunities for the industry.

North American contacts:
MEF North America
Marjorie DeHey Daleo
neuhaus Media
Tony Dillistone
Editorial contacts:
Morgan Evans
morgan.evans(at)hotwirepr(dot)com / 020 7608 2500

Rebecca Honeyman
rebecca.honeyman(at)hotwirepr(dot)com / 020 7608 2500


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David Standfield

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