The French Association for Mobile Multimedia (AFMM), together with French audience measurement company Médiamétrie, conducted a prospective survey on French online payment habits which sheds light on users’ reluctance to pay small sums with a credit card.
Involving 1,027 Internet users, the study showed that most consumers are wary of using a credit card for online payments under 9 euros. A quarter of them refuse to use it to purchase items under 15 euros. Although online wallets à la Paypal have proved a success, 58% of the people surveyed do not feel it is necessary to use them. When prompted to do so by an online store, 71% decline the offer. Contrariwise, most of the respondents are willing to use mobile payment for purchases under 15 euros.
The results were published in 2013 and earned the study significant media coverage (see, for instance, Le Journal du Net) because it came up at a time when growth in online sales was subsiding (5%, compared with 20% between 2011 and 2012) and mobile money (i.e. payment through mobile devices) was emerging as a credible alternative. Mobile payment could therefore become one of the next drivers for growth in the mobile industry. Payment via Short Message Service (SMS) is both very simple and more confidential than conventional online payment, which requires users to enter their credit card number; as a consequence, only six months from the start, SMS+ and Internet+ services generated a 665 million-euro income. The study shows, nonetheless, that in spite of their interest, a great majority of respondents have not yet used mobile payment solutions.