The use of mobile phones to make payments and conduct online banking has rocketed over the past year, with mobile banking use in particular up 100 per cent, according to a new report from market research firm TNS.
Mobile Life, a TNS research paper on the use of mobiles in the UK, found that the use of 'mobile wallet' technology in the UK has more than doubled in the past 12 months, and that more than one in 10 people now make payments via a mobile.
The research also found that one in five UK consumers now use a mobile to carry out online banking tasks such as checking a balance or transferring money.
TNS put the dramatic rise down to advances in smartphone technology and a rapid increase in the accessibility of such services.
"In the last 12 months in particular the openness of the Android platform has increased handset competition and driven down prices, meaning that more people are able to use their handset as a payment tool," said Stephen Yap, group director at TNS Technology.
"As we become more familiar with smartphones, and as mobile networks improve, we should see this number increase until mobile is the primary platform for most everyday online functions, including making payments."
Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, which facilitates mobile payments, is rapidly gaining in adoption by smartphone makers.
The Nexus S already comes NFC-enabled, and RIM said earlier this year that virtually all BlackBerry devices will support the technology in time.
Only Apple seems to be reticent about embedding NFC in its handsets, claiming that it is concerned about a lack of industry standards.
A recent Juniper Research report said that over 500 million people are expected to use their smartphone as a 'mobile ticket' by 2015.
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