UK lags behind US in uptake of making purchases through smartphones

The UK is lagging behind the US in uptake of making purchases through smartphones new research has found.

Just 22 per cent of smartphone users in the UK have attempted to make a purchase on their smartphone compared to 60 per cent in the US, according to the study carried out by mobile payments firm judoPay.

"The UK mobile app marketplace has been severely hindered by consumers' reluctance to try mobile payments and the difficulty of building card payments into new apps," said the company.

The research also found that the number of mobile apps requiring card payments has increased by 57 per cent in the last year and that developers believe if card payment functionality was easier to integrate into apps, the number would increase by a further 64 per cent.

Many of those who do try to buy on their smartphones in the UK fail in completing their purchase due to the complexity of payment transactions, something which is has cost developers and vendors significant revenue, judoPay found.

Just under half of those who had experienced failed purchases said it was due to the transactions failing to go through. 38 per cent said entering debit and credit card details was too difficult, while 35 per cent said the checkout process was too difficult.

When faced with an unsuccessful transaction, 11 per cent of respondents decided to postpone their purchase and a further 9 per cent decided against buying completely. Around 23.7 million UK smartphone card transactions have failed.

Dennis Jones, CEO of judoPay, commented: "One of the engines for economic recovery and growth in the UK is the smart development of apps for smartphones. UK smartphone penetration is set to double by 2016, creating a huge market for developers.

"However, the majority of users are not even attempting to make purchases using their smartphones, while those who do try find it too difficult."