Mobile phones could replace cash by 2016

Telegraph
24.11.2011
By Matt Warman

Consumers will be able to pay for everything on the high street with their mobile phones in five years time, a new survey says.

Research by Forrester, commissioned by PayPal, found that “2016 will be the year when UK shoppers will be able to use their mobile phones to pay for things on the high street with digital money rather than cash, cheques or cards”.

The findings are based on interviews with 10 senior executives from major UK businesses, representing a combined 2010 turnover of £85 billion.

Almost half of all mobile users purchase something via the device every three months, the study suggested, and more devices will be in circulation over the coming years.

Increasing numbers of online retailers are offering PayPal alongside credit cards, and eBay is to open a shop which encourages visitors to pay for goods with their mobile phones rather than at a conventional till.

Other incentives for customers to pay by mobile include location-based offers, digital loyalty cards and apps. PizzaExpress recently launched an app allowing users to pay their bill via their mobile, and Starbucks has recently announced a UK app that allows users to scan a code corresponding to their account and choice of drink.

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