Mobile Broadband UsersConsumers worldwide have become addicted to the latest electronic gadgets and technology, but when it comes to the latest smartphone features, very few are taking advantage of them.

“Smart phones today can store information to make our lives more efficient – information that can be scanned to make a purchase, or displayed as a ticket for admission, allowing us freedom from printed confirmations or carrying bulky wallets. However, when asked about a list of items that one could scan their mobile or smart phone for, only small minorities report having done so in each case,” according to a new Harris Poll.

Conducting an online survey of some 2,056 American adults between Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, Harris Interactive found that:

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  • Only 5% of Americans said they’ve scanned their phone for admission to a movie or an airline ticket
  • Fewer say they have done so to pay for clothing or electronics, admission to a live concert, live theater or performance (3%)
  • A higher percentage (7%) had done so to pay for a convenience item, such as coffee, or something else

Two in five (40%) said they’ve never scanned their mobile or smartphone for any reason, while slightly more said they don’t have a mobile or smartphone with this capability (45%). Echo Boomers aged 18-35 are most likely to have scanned their mobile phones for the items listed, though they’re not doing so at “remarkable rates (between 5% and 10% for each item),” according to the online survey results.

There’s also a gap dividing mobile and smartphone users when it comes to their comfort with such new features. Just under half of American adults surveyed (47%) said they were comfortable using a mobile scan as an admission ticket to movies, concerts or theater performances, while 38% said they weren’t comfortable with it. A quarter said they weren’t comfortable with it at all; 15% said they weren’t sure. About the same number of people are comfortable (41%) and not comfortable (43%) using a mobile scan as an airline, train or other transportation ticket; here too 15% said they were not sure.

Slightly fewer respondents said they were comfortable using a mobile app as opposed to a mobile scan. Some 39% said they’d be as comfortable using a mobile app to make purchases at a retailer or company as they would a gift card, while 47% said they weren’t comfortable with it, and 14% said they weren’t sure.

Using a mobile app to store credit card information was the only feature on the survey that a majority of American adults were decidedly against– 63% said they weren’t comfortable with this, including 45% who weren’t comfortable with it at all. Only 24% were comfortable with it, while 13% weren’t sure.

Several trends emerge from the results, according to Harris Interactive, including:

  • There is comfort in youth – younger adults are more comfortable than older adults with each item listed;
  • Men are more comfortable with each item than are women; and,
  • Those who have scanned their smart phone for any one of a number of reasons are more comfortable with each capability than are those who have never scanned their phone, or do not have a phone with that technology.

With mobile electronic payments technology and systems emerging, Harris also queried American adults about if and when they think mobile e-cash payments will surpass the use of paper money. Very few (3%) think this will happen in the next year. Some 13% think it will happen in one to less than three years and 18% think it will happen between three and five years from today. Some 21% said it will happen in five to less than ten years, while 15% said it will happen in ten years or more. Thirty percent said it will never happen.

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