Survey finds more using mobile payment apps

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Survey finds more using mobile payment apps

Two out of three Korean consumers use mobile payment apps at least once a week, with most using them for online shopping, according to survey results released Tuesday by the Korea Consumer Agency.

The agency polled 2,238 adults who use mobile payment apps once or more per month and found that 71.9 percent of them used apps for online shopping. Coffee shops trailed with 7.5 percent, and department store and discount shopping at 6.6 percent.

Mobile payment apps are now ubiquitous as credit card issuers, electronics makers and e-commerce operators have released their own programs. In the consumer survey, many users prioritized simplicity when assessing the quality of a payment app, with 40.7 percent citing it as the most important criterion when selecting an app.

Security, promotional discounts and the number of affiliates that accept the payment app followed with 22.7 percent, 20.2 percent and 8.4 percent.

The consumer agency asked respondents to rank the 32 mobile payment apps currently available in Korea based on the four criteria. Samsung Electronics’ Samsung Pay came first in both simplicity and security, while Starbucks topped the list in number of affiliates that accept its payment app.

In terms of overall satisfaction with payment apps, users rated simplicity 3.69 out of 5, with 5 meaning most satisfied with that criterion. The apps’ safety ranked second in satisfaction with an average 3.45, and last on the list was satisfaction with extra services including discounts, at 3.32.

Korea’s mobile payment market has grown rapidly since 2014 to mark 5.7 trillion won ($5.1 billion) in the second quarter last year, thanks to the rapid rise in smartphone use and ordering online from overseas sites.

One in 10 respondents said they experienced inconvenience using the services, with 46.2 percent of them complaining about overcharging, 43.3 percent frustrated with delays or flat-out denial of refunds and 22.2 percent concerned about personal information leaks.

“Service providers should first make changes in the user experience so that customers can more easily find stores that accept the payment apps, such as sending a pop-up message when a customer enters the store or adding a direct button for searching,” a consumer agency spokesman said.

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