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Trust a barrier to mobile content growth

February 21, 2014 • Mobile and Telecoms

MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, today announced the results of its second annual Global Trust Report. The 2014 report, carried out in partnership with AVG Technologies, analyses data from 10,000 mobile media users in 13 countries in order to examine the industry-wide issues of privacy, transparency and security to identify their impact on mobile content and commerce consumer behaviours worldwide.

Andrew Bud, MEF Global Chair (image: MEF)

Andrew Bud, MEF Global Chair (image: MEF)

The study found that trust is the number one barrier to the growth of mobile content and commerce with 30 per cent of mobile media users citing it as the single largest obstacle to purchasing goods and services via their mobile device, yet just nine per cent claim to have actually had a negative experience.

Moreover, the issue of consumer trust is growing. This year, 40 per cent named trust as one possible barrier to purchasing via mobile. In 2013, the number was 35 per cent against 27 per cent in 2011. Looking ahead, therefore, a lack of trust will prevent one in two mobile media users from purchasing via their phone by 2015.

In more detail the report identified:

* Over 35s (43 per cent) and smartphone users (44 per cent) are the least trusting. This may reflect the greater risk posed to more advanced mobile devices and a greater understanding of potential dangers among older consumers.

* Trust is not just a barrier to purchase. 37 per cent overall say it prevented them using apps installed on their phone, though this was less of an issue in mature markets such as the UK and USA. Growth markets are more likely to let trust get in the way of buying via their mobile. Mexico and China (49 per cent) top the table, with Saudi Arabia (48 per cent) and Brazil (46 per cent).

* 65 per cent overall are unhappy sharing personal information with an app, with more mature markets particularly reticent (UK: 79 per cent and USA: 76 per cent).

* Most consumers take no action to protect their privacy. Long form privacy policies are particularly unpopular with only a quarter, 24 per cent, prepared to read one. Short form policies are popular in the USA (37 per cent) and the UK (32 per cent); also for those for whom convenience (40 per cent) and immediacy (39 per cent) are key purchase drivers.

Andrew Bud, MEF Global Chair said: “This report shows remarkably few consumers are yet ready to take action regarding their concerns about trust in mobile apps. This should not mislead our industry. With a large and growing majority of consumers expressing concern, the mobile industry cannot afford to be complacent about mobile users’ current tolerance.”

“We are witnessing the emergence of a connected generation which has grown up online and has lower expectations of data privacy. This is in stark contrast to those over 35 years of age who in the survey seemed to be much more worried about new technology and its implications,” explains Yuval Ben-Itzhak, Chief Technology Officer, AVG Technologies.

Staff writer

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