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Feb 2016 - Business Strategy - Doc # CA40652216

Business Strategy: Mobile Payments in Canada — 2016 Status Update

Authors: Lars Goransson, Robert Smythe

This IDC Financial Insights report provides an update to IDC Financial Insights' May 2014 report that examined the current status of mobile payments in Canada and how they might evolve in the future (see Business Strategy: Mobile Payments at the Point of Sale in Canada — Status and Future Directions, IDC Financial Insights #FI248032, May 2014). This update contains input obtained from interviews of 12 executives and senior managers in financial institutions, payment networks, and mobile network operators. It also provides information on mobile payment initiatives and technology that was obtained from an extensive review of published information.

It will be difficult for mobile payments participants to maintain momentum as there are currently no pressing client demands for mobile payments. The disintermediation fear is something for the future and not an urgent matter for today. Progress will result from "push" initiatives by mobile payment providers and not "pull" demand from consumers, at least initially until loyalty integration is firmly established. In 2014, it was anticipated that it would take about three years for mobile payments to reach a state of maturity where consumers become comfortable with using their mobile phones for payments at the point of sale, preferred solutions are established, and the dominant providers of payments services are identified. From the consumers' perspective, little progress has been made in enticing them with innovative mobile payment services, so it still looks like wide adoption of mobile payments is still three years out.

"The transition to mobile payments will only take place when consumers see that using mobile devices for payments provides them with added value and convenience beyond plastic cards," says Robert Smythe, research associate, IDC Financial Insights.

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