The Rising Power of the Consumer: Demand Seamless Bundling Services, Price Transparency, and Security and Privacy



    KPMG International's Consumers & Convergence III Survey

    TORONTO, June 15 /CNW/ - KPMG International's survey reveals a decline in
consumers currently bundling their packages of subscription services down to
39 percent in 2008, compared to 47 percent in 2007. This decrease was
demonstrated across all age groups and most geographic regions surveyed, as
only Latin America registered an increased in bundling of services.
    This compared to Canada, where the statistics reveal a similar downward
trend: 53 percent in 2008 versus 59 percent in 2007.
    These were the findings of KPMG International's third annual Consumers
and Convergence survey of more than 4,000 people in 19 countries worldwide,
conducted to determine trends in the use of mobile technology.
    "Increasingly, consumers are not interested in packaged services foisted
upon them by suppliers. Fuelled by the arrival of smartphones, consumers
worldwide are demonstrating a strong demand for specific services that offer
true value for their investment. This would include features such as mobile
banking, music entertainment, gaming, and e-mail, which may monetized
indirectly by mobile service providers," said Chris Van Staveren, a Partner in
KPMG in Canada's ("KPMG's") Advisory practice.
    The survey clearly shows that consumers hold the power in the palm of
their hands, and only those providers that offer flexible packages that
provide the consumer with what they want and value will gain long-term
customer loyalty.
    Another big challenge the mobile industry needs to address is the rising
concern consumers have regarding their privacy and security. Globally, 60
percent of consumers report they are very concerned about security when using
a mobile device and a further 55 percent report they are also very concerned
about privacy issues. In Canada, the findings indicate 68 percent and 64
percent are very concerned about security and privacy issues, respectively.
    "These findings send a very clear message to suppliers of the urgent need
to address these issues if they want to attract and retain customers in the
future," said Van Staveren. "Clearly, those suppliers who demonstrate they
have listened to consumers' concerns by addressing the security and privacy
issues will maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace."
    Specifically, the top security and privacy concerns for consumers include
unauthorized access to PII (Personally Identifiable Information), with 73
percent of respondents citing this as the number one concern, followed by 69
percent who note that the interception of their credit card information is
also a serious concern; in Canada, the findings are quite similar at 79
percent and 71 percent, respectively.
    The findings also indicate that there is a global reluctance to exchange
tracking of personal online usage for lower costs, with half of all
respondents indicating that they are "not at all" willing to allow tracking of
online personal usage/personal profile information in exchange for lower
costs. Canadians are even more reluctant, with 70 percent expressing they are
"not at all" willing to do so.

    
    Online/Mobile Revenue Models
    ----------------------------
    Mobile Music:
    -------------
    

    About one-quarter (24 percent) of Canadian mobile phone users indicate
they are willing to accept advertising on their mobile phones in exchange for
free music downloads, followed by 22 percent who will view ads to access
instant messaging. Globally, the findings show that 49 percent would accept
free music and 44 percent would accept instant messaging on their mobile
phones. Conversely, 26 percent of Canadian mobile phone users also indicate
they would rather pay for their online content to avoid having to view
advertising on their mobiles (43 percent globally).

    
    Mobile Banking:
    ---------------
    

    Despite the fact that 59 percent of global consumers indicate that online
banking on their mobile phone is important to them, they are not willing to
pay for it. Comparatively, in Canada, 80 percent indicate that online banking
is important but not worth paying for.
    However, there is huge potential for revenue growth in this market;
globally, 53 percent of consumers indicate they are comfortable with the idea
of using a mobile phone for financial transactions, and a further 54 percent
indicate they are "at least somewhat likely" to conduct banking through a
mobile device in the next 12 months. In contrast, Canadians say they are less
comfortable (28 percent) and less likely to conduct banking through a mobile
device over the next 12 months (16 percent).
    Interestingly, despite the above stats, only 19 percent of global
consumers are currently conducting banking through a mobile device. In Canada,
the figure is much lower at 8 percent. Clearly, there is a huge majority - 81
percent globally and 92 percent in Canada - that need to be persuaded that
mobile banking is not only worth using but worth paying for as well. Not
surprisingly, among those respondents who had not conducted banking through
their mobile device, 44 percent globally and 55 percent in Canada cite
security and privacy issues as a primary reason for not utilizing the service.
    "The KPMG report shows that the mobile business model has moved from a
focus on "mobile", to a focus on the "consumer". The new consumer demands a la
carte services: an exciting opportunity for companies that can address this
need with viable business models," said Gary Schwartz CEO of Impact Mobile and
Director on the Board of MEF Americas.
    The Consumers and Convergence III survey results are the latest in a
series of collaborations between KPMG International and Mobile Entertainment
Forum (MEF) on trends in mobile entertainment. Last month, the two
organizations announced the creation of the quarterly MEF Business Confidence
Index (BCI), the results of a survey gauging the confidence of the $32 billion
mobile entertainment industry. The first MEF BCI revealed that MEF members
predict an average increase in revenue of 27 percent in the next year, in
spite of the economic downturn.

    
    About KPMG
    ----------
    

    KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership established under the
laws of Ontario, is the Canadian member firm affiliated with KPMG
International, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax,
and Advisory services. Member firms operate in 144 countries and have more
than 137,000 professionals working around the world.
    Please visit www.kpmg.ca for more information.

    
    About Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF)
    --------------------------------------
    

    The Mobile Entertainment Forum was formed in 2000 to represent companies
throughout the entire mobile entertainment value chain. As the global trade
association of the mobile media industry, MEF works on behalf of its diverse
membership to drive mobile entertainment adoption, shape regulation, and
deliver competitive advantage to its members.
    With global headquarters in London, a Hollywood-based Americas
secretariat, an Asian chapter in Hong Kong, and the newly expanded EMEA
branch, MEF's network of members represents a veritable "Who's Who" of mobile
entertainment businesses and entrepreneurs. For more information and a full
list of members, please visit www.m-e-f.org.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange a media interview, please
contact: Shilpa Kotecha, Media Relations, KPMG, (416) 777-8918,
skotecha@kpmg.ca; Julie Bannerjea, Media Relations, KPMG, (416) 777-3243,
jbannerjea@kpmg.ca


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