Canadians Portrayed as Avid Technology Users, But Wary of Mobile Banking and Commerce – KPMG International Survey

Aug 18, 2010 | Corporate Member News

Security & privacy remains an issue for nine out of 10 consumers

Despite major concerns over privacy and data security, people around the world are rapidly adopting the mobile internet as an easy and convenient method of carrying out everyday transactions, including banking and shopping, according to KPMG International’s survey Consumers & Convergence IV.

Like our global counterparts, security and privacy appears to be an issue for Canadians when using a mobile device, with 63 percent and 58 percent “very concerned” about privacy and security, respectively. At the same time, global respondents are worried about security and privacy at 67 percent and 59 percent, respectively. However, Canadians indicate lower usage of mobile devices for purchasing and banking: 

–   Only 19 percent of Canadians feel comfortable using their mobile phone for financial transactions, compared to 34 percent of global respondents

–   8 percent of Canadians have made purchases using a mobile phone through a retailer’s site-double the amount from last year, but significantly less than global consumers at 28 percent

–   15 percent of Canadians have done banking through a mobile device, compared to 45 percent globally. 

“These consumer concerns over privacy and security are pivotal to the continued adoption of e-commerce and mobile commerce,” says Brendan Maher, National Industry Leader of KPMG’s Information, Communications & Entertainment practice. “Companies that implement robust policies and safeguards and provide for full disclosure of these measures are likely to reap the rewards through enhanced customer attraction and retention.”

The surge in mobile internet is being led by the world’s fastest developing economies. In China, 77 percent of respondents say they have used their mobiles for banking and 44 percent for retail transactions, while in India 38 percent are using them to shop and 43 percent for financial business.

In the 5 years since KPMG International launched the Consumers & Convergence survey, dramatic shifts have occurred in how consumers integrate internet and mobile technology into their daily lives. This spring, KPMG surveyed more than 5,000 consumers in 22 countries, including 300 in Canada, in order to continue to track the consumer landscape and future market implications.

Consumers and Convergence IV also offers up some suggestions to the challenges faced by companies as they relate to converged technologies and consumer behaviours; it reveals that Canadians continue to seek free content and are relatively advertising adverse: 

–   85 percent of Canadians are not willing to pay for access to site content through their mobile phone and would look for the same or similar content elsewhere through a free site, compared to 76 percent in the US and 57 percent globally

–   In Canada, advertising in exchange for lower prices or free content/services is more willingly received on a PC than on a mobile phone, at 45 and 21 percent respectively; however, global respondents are more willing with 56 percent indicating they would receive it on their PC and 42 percent on their mobile phone. 

“These findings underscore an opportunity for carriers, content producers, and advertisers to work together. Companies in this sector are seeking new, profitable business models, which will help alleviate the loss in revenues from traditional models involving print advertising,” adds Maher. Collaboration between companies to deliver additional benefits to consumers in exchange for ads has already proven to be successful in several instances and ultimately proves rewarding for all stakeholders.”

Other key findings include Canadian usage of cloud services, which, while ahead of global and US respondents, indicates a lack of awareness of its potential for business usage: 

–   72 percent of Canadian consumers use some sort of cloud computing services (e.g., Google Docs and Hotmail), as compared to just 51 percent of Americans and 66 percent of global respondents

–   48 percent of Canadians have downloaded media (e.g., music, movies, games), compared to 64 percent globally and 39 percent in the US

–   Storage in the cloud is largely for e-mail, photos, and contacts, with business usage at only 13 percent for Canada (24 percent globally and 8 percent in the US). 

“The low adoption rate of cloud computing services by consumers for business information likely indicates either a low confidence in cloud security and controls, or a degree of uncertainty as to how to integrate cloud computing into the enterprise platform,” adds Yvon Audette, National Leader of KPMG’s IT Advisory Services. “For consumers, once privacy concerns have been addressed, there are few technological barriers to adoption given the ease of use and access. Businesses, however, must also consider the technical challenges, such as systems integration, data retention, and disaster recovery capabilities. Business leaders need to clearly understand the requirements that are to be met by cloud services and build a plan for getting there; addressing consumer concerns over privacy and security is one part of this.”

For more information about the Consumers & Convergence IV survey, please visit http://bit.ly/cU0OQX.

Follow us on Twitter to join the conversation at: http://twitter.com/KPMG_Canada

About the ICE Consumers & Convergence IV survey

Consumers & Convergence IV is the fourth regular global survey of consumer use of technology produced by KPMG International’s Information, Communications & Entertainment (ICE) practice. A total of 5,627 respondents from 22 countries completed an online survey in the spring of 2010 (surveys in Slovakia and the Czech Republic were carried out by phone).

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (kpmg.ca), a Canadian limited liability partnership established under the laws of Ontario, is the Canadian member firm of KPMG International. KPMG International’s member firms have 140,000 professionals, including more than 7,900 partners, in 146 countries.

The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity, and describes itself as such.

For further information: or to arrange a media interview, please contact: Dhruv Chhabra, Media Relations Coordinator, KPMG, [email protected],(416) 777-8983; Julie Bannerjea, Head of Media Relations, KPMG, [email protected], (416) 777-3243

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