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Android smartphones gain on iPhone for driving mobile transactions

Android smartphones are catching up with the iPhone when it comes to driving payment transactions through a browser or application, according to a new report from Adyen.

Between April and December of last year, Android’s share of smartphone transactions grew from 30.7 percent to 38.6 while Apple’s share dropped from 68.5 percent to 60 percent. Overall, mobile payment transactions grew 55 percent for a total of 19.5 percent of transactions globally.

“One in five transactions is mobile, it is a milestone,” said Delphine Bos, global marketing and communications at Adyen, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

“Merchants should definitely invest in user-friendly pages and make sure their check out process is optimized for mobile with a responsive design, single page, single-click options,” she said.

Retail mobile payments grow
During the September to December period last year, iPad came in first with more than 41 percent of mobile transactions, followed by the iPhone with 31.6 percent while Android smartphones captured 20 percent of transactions, and Android tablets only captured 6.6 percent.

Mobile payment transaction volume in the retail sector rose by 36 percent during the last four months of 2013 to reach 23 percent of all transactions, according to the report.

Of the several industry sectors reviewed in the report, retail was the only one where the volume of tablet transactions outweighed smartphones, at 15.9 percent versus 7.1 percent.

The mobile payment index is based on transactions across Adyen’s list of customers, which includes Groupon, TomTom, KLM, Vodafone and others.

The results from the report point to the rise in popularity of mobile as a payment medium.

The report also suggests that the retail industry leads the way in improving the tablet user experience for ecommerce, where a key part of the picture is streamlining the payment process to encourage more conversions.

Smartphones win on volume
For the first time, the report reviewed average transaction values across several industry sectors.

In the travel segment, mobile payments grew 22 percent and beat out the other sectors, with nearly 30 percent of all transactions made over smartphone or tablet. Smartphones accounted for 17.5 percent of transaction volume and tablets 11.9 percent.

Gaming saw the largest growth rate in mobile payments, up 35 percent for a total of 12 percent. Smartphones accounted for 9 percent of transactions and tablets 3 percent.

In the ticketing segment, 20 percent of transactions are on mobile, up by 12 percent. By device, smartphones garnered 13 percent of transactions and tablets 7.5 percent.

For digital goods, mobile transactions grew 9 percent for a total of 18 percent, with 13 percent of transactions coming in via smartphones and 5 percent via tablets.

Higher tablet transactions
While fewer transactions were made via tablets, these devices showed comparatively far higher average transaction value than smartphones across all sectors except for travel, where PCs, with an average transaction value of $179, dominate over tablets at $122 while smartphones came in at $60.

In gaming, the average transaction value was $62 on tablets compared with $51 on PCs and $45 on smartphones.

In retail, $122 was the average tablet transaction, $92 for PCs and $90 for smartphones.

The average tablet transaction in ticketing was $63, smartphones $59 and PCs $60.

For digital goods, the average tablet transaction came in at $36, PCs $34 and smartphones $30.

The higher average transactions values on tablet point to how these devices, with their bigger screens, touch interfaces and portability can lead to better browsing experiences and longer shopping sessions.

“Tablets are becoming a major sales channel, especially for retailers and high value transactions,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York