Canadians shy about mobile buying, says market study

With an increasing number of Canadians using mobile device for work as well as play, the ability to buy products online is tempting, particularly as more financial institutions here offer mobile payment solutions.

But according to an international study Canadians lag far behind those of other countries when it comes to mobile payments. Research firm GfK, which did the study, said Wednesday that just 2 per cent of all consumer purchases in Canada. The report surveyed people in a number of countries, but didn’t detail how many Canadians out of the total were questioned. However, according to the Edmonton Journal, 1,000 here were surveyed.

Digging deeper, the numbers show Canadians were second lowest in  mobile payments in the last six months compared to other geographies: 10 per cent in Japan, 21 per cent here, 24 per cent in Western Europe, 33 per cent in the U.S., 35 per cent in Central Europe. Over 80 per cent of purchases in China were done over mobile devices.

Looked at in another way, 64 per cent of Canadian respondents said they had made an mobile online purchase once a month or less. Twenty-four per cent said they did it two or three times a month. Only two per cent said they’d done it 11 times or more a month.

Overall, more than half (55 per cent) of Canadian respondents agreed completely or somewhat they are worried about the security of their personal information with mobile payments. PayPal was the preferred payment method for six of 10 Canadians making mobile payments in-store or online.

If you’re a Canadian business trying to sell through smart phones or tablets, be patient: History shows that consumers here eventually catch up to popular uses of technology adopted in other countries. Note also in Canada we’re in the early days of a fight between carriers and banks for the loyalty of mobile buying consumers.

As Stephen Popiel, vice-president of consulting for GfK Canada, told the Journal, there’s a lot of choice for paying for things here: ATMs are plentiful for getting cash, plus there’s debit and credit cards.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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