New figures from Mobilians, a wireless payments company, shows that Koreans are spending fast-growing sums on their mobile phones to pay for both digital services and real live goods. Of those, men have an edge in the value and volume of sales, with games their preferred choice. Women, meanwhile, are increasingly using mobile transactions to make payments for shopping.
Analysing 250 million digital transactions from the first quarter of this year, Mobilians discovered that the value of transactions on mobile phones had jumped by 15.3 percent year-on-year — to 304.6 billion won (about US $282 million). The overall market, meanwhile, increased in size from 513.6 billion won to 565.8 billion won.
By sector, the figures showed:
The two biggest segments, by far, were games and shopping, followed by online communities, miscellaneous, life and information, entertainment, education, eating out, and “membership fees.”
The other key findings were:
- Men paid used mobile payment more than women, by a ratio of 60 to 40.
- But women generally spent more per transaction — 12,370 won to 11,970 won.
- Mobile payment was most common among Koreans in their 30s, who accounted for 34 percent of all payments. People in their 20s were practically tied at 25 percent, while the 50+ age group lagged with 17 percent.
Moon Jeong-sik, a representative of Mobilians, said:
Mobile phone payments, which were already the method of choice for games and music services and so on, are gaining more uses in both e-commerce and offline items. As this happens, the amount being spent on such transactions is going up. This means that that mobile payment is becoming the main payment method, regardless of conventional distinctions between online and offline.