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Nearly 26% of Brazilians feel they are still unprepared to use their mobile phones to purchase goods, regardless of whether those goods are physical or virtual (games or apps), according to mobile content and commerce community MEF.
MEF's figure is part of a survey carried out in nine countries - Brazil, the US, the UK, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Qatar, Singapore and South Africa - with more than 8,500 interviewees, and presented during a summit in São Paulo to address the challenges of the m-commerce sector. The study was conducted in partnership with research consultancy On Device.
According to MEF's Latin American general manager, Filipe Roup Rosa, the results pose a major challenge to companies interested in embracing m-commerce in the region. "The customer needs to be educated on how to make use of that technology," he said.
Nevertheless, the survey also showed that 20% of respondents said they could use their mobile phones to make purchases of 200 reais (US$110) or more. In addition, 34% said they had already used their handsets to top up mobile wallet balances and 18% to check their bank balances.
"All those numbers show that though people have doubts, they are willing to use their phones to make transactions if they feel it's worth it," Rosa noted, stressing that m-commerce needs to add value and to be seen as "totally safe" for the end user.
Rosa pointed to four other factors he believes are vital and must be addressed by the sector to overcome current difficulties. One of the main issues is that complex technologies, which require continued services from the payment systems providers, have to be implemented and "very well managed."
He also recommended that m-commerce services be aligned with existing POSs, prepared and designed for retailers, and integrated with different payment methods.