Connected society // Adding Value To User’s Experience.
Our lives have become more connected to mobile technology and we even developed an emotional attachment to our devices to the extent that we feel lost without them. The number of people using mobile devices grew significantly over the past few years and customer’s expectations do the same. The smartphone sale price will be as little as $215 by 2019, offering even lower entry-barriers for new adopters. We use mobile devices for social media, banking, business tasks, buying and selling products, or for identification purposes, but the expectations of end-users for 2025 might be even greater than we can imagine.
This article provides insights gathered from the research paper Connected living 2025 written by Gemalto, a company that provides secure and convenient solutions for mobile customer experiences. The research has been carried surveying people from three different age groups (15-30, 31-49 and 50+) from six countries (USA, UK, Germany, France, China and Brazil). This paper will contain the following themes: future expectations about technological evolution, trust, the future role of devise in our lives, omni-channel experience and customer journeys.
1. End user expectation for technological evolution.
The majority of users expect their mobile phone to act like a remote control for their homes. They expect controlling their heat, lighting, and windows autonomously, without any human interaction. This response comes from those aged 15-30, where more than six in 10 (62%) expect autonomous smartphone home control by 2025.
Another interesting response is using smartphones as the main ID, or even passport in the near future. China has responded positively to this question, with 70% of the population agreeing to it -20% more than in the rest of countries examined. In fact, 76% of people aged 50+ agreed with this idea, the highest response within any age group in any individual country.
It addition, it is also worth looking at the percentage of users who think powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistance will be available from their smartphones. Almost half (45%) of the users surveyed expect their smartphone to perform AI tasks as an AI agent on their behalf.
The last one I would like to mention is that one in three (39%) people are expecting to have automated purchases and activities based on location and history. In other words, they expect routine activities to be replaced by technology, such as having to pay fees everyday for the same parking spot.
2. End-user expectation for smartphone features.
Memory capacity and battery life have been issues that customers have expressed over time constantly. As technology becomes cheaper and more research is done into new possible ways of getting and managing energy, the expectations can come reality by 2025.
Another significant percentage (59%) of users trust that there will be unlimited cloud storage and new features of the smartphone’s camera, such as 3D or 360-capturing. We can expect more advancements in the ways people will use their camera, serving for more than high resolution photos i.e. authentication of persons or objects.
3. End-user expectation for mobile banking.
Even though today, in 2017, many of us can perform a vast majority of banking tasks without any restrictions on mobile, there are only 42% respondents who believe they will be able to manage everything only from their devices. What is interesting is that 36% of the 15-30 age bracket are confident in this aspect, in contrast to half of 31-49 year olds (44%) and those above 50 (45%). The explanation for this could be that older generations tend to realize how fast payments have evolved in the last decades, while newer generations are used with the modern system and think it’s good enough to continue on like this.
As mobile banking functions will continue to increase, we can expect a growth in number of people that think they will don’t need to visit a branch. The least attention (25%) was for personalized budget analysis and support. This doesn’t necessarily mean that when this service becomes widely available users will not like it. More often we see that people don’t know they need something until it is offered to them – taking example history of mobile phones.
4. End-user expectation for mobile payments.
Payment experiences on mobile are crucial for customers in 2025, when payments should become easier and more advanced. Connectivity 24/7 means that payments need to adhere to this standard and offer real-time services and assistance. Almost half (43%) of the users say they will prefer mobile payments on top of cash or cards, but we can expect resistance from older generations and Germany – which despite being an advanced technological country, 40% still say they would prefer cash in 2025.
6. End-user expectations for paying their mobile services.
Looking at how users expect paying for using their mobile services, we see close to half (42%) of consumers to stick with traditional methods such as direct debit, credit cards, and prepaid phones. The most surprising things is that over one in five users (22%) expect not to have to pay at all for connectivity, believing that this is a human right for all for free. The following category (19%) expects lower costs that come with having to experience with more ads during their mobile browsing. The Chinese are the most expectant of this, with over a quarter (27%) choosing this option.
As we could see before in the payments industry, once users become familiar with a payment method, they are less willing to adopt other alternatives. It has been a long time for credit cards to gain global trust, and despite predictions that mobile payments will replace cash in 2025, the traditional methods will still be used on a very large scale. Industry-leaders will have to invest in their brand-image in order to gain trust of their clients and offer real added-value, now more than ever.
7. What will make users give up their personal data.
Firstly, we have to notice how significant is the proportion of people who don’t allow any company to have access to their data (38%). Looking at the trends in the payment industry for 2020, with directives such as PSD2 that allow trusted third-parties to access bank’s user information, it remains to see how receptive will people be towards new services and features offered by these third-party companies. Also interesting to see is that 28% of respondents would agree to exchange their browsing history, and purchases to get better deals. The percentage reduces significantly when users were asked to grant access to all their data, including social media, contact history and location. We can conclude that users will be willing to share details about their online browsing but not as much about their online, social interactions.
8. Future expectations for communication abroad.
Even though users still expect to pay for their mobile services with traditional payment methods (debit, credit, prepaid), the situation changes when it comes to using data abroad. Almost one in two users expect no roaming costs in 2025 due to the good cooperation between countries governments. Those aged 15-30 are most optimistic about this, with almost half (47%) believing this will happen, much higher than the combined average of the other age groups surveyed (39%). Chinese people are the most optimistic users to believe in this option, with 54% overall and 60% of 15-30 age group. French users are more reserved, scoring much lower with only 29% overall.
9. End-user expectation on who will manage their digital identity.
The results here are the clearest of all the findings; three quarters of users expect to manage their own digital identities in 2025, denoting that companies still have to work hard to gain customer’s trust in order to have access to information. Surprisingly enough, one in five (24%) believe that their digital identity will be managed by these companies. This shows us how big brands like Apple can win customers through powerful marketing and great user experience. Consequently, the pressure on companies to keep their customer’s identities and personal information secure would be higher than ever before.
10. End-user expectations of who will be responsible for their mobile experience.
The results offer an overview of who users expect to be delivering mobile experiences in 2025. As expected, hardware providers/manufacturers is the most popular, with almost half of the users (46%). Over a quarter (29%) think it will be a joint responsibility of connectivity service providers, hardware manufacturers and OTT (over-the-top) service providers, depending on what service they are using at the time. What is important to consider is the rise in the prominence of OTT service providers, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Netflix. These providers have become so included in people’s lives that some of users expect them to be the most responsible for mobile experiences soon. We can expect this figure of 8% to increase significantly over the next decade.
Eye-catching differences between age groups.
- 15-30yr old characteristics – Overall confidence in technological evolution of smartphones in 3D video displays/holograms; Artificial Intelligence; 3D, 360-degree, ultra-high definition cameras.
- 15-30yr olds are least expectant physical bank branches becoming redundant
- 31-49yrs olds are more unwilling to give up personal data to large companies than 15-30yr olds
- 15-30yr olds are the most expectant (37%) for MNOs to contact them primarily through SMS or IM in 2025
- Overall, results from millennials are much more similar to that over 50+ age group than anticipated – for example: results from both groups tend to be similar for expectations towards smartphone evolution
Expectations related to mobile payments.
- Almost half of those surveyed globally (45%) expect to be able to pay for anything, anywhere using their mobile device – the strong response to this option was expected, but perhaps not as high
- Nearly 40% of users expect automated purchases from their smartphones, based on their location and/or past purchases activities
- Artificial Intelligence will play a big role in the future of mobile experiences as many users expect sophisticated help from AI agents
- Banks will need to adapt as users (42%) expect to be able to perform all banking functions from their mobile device, with no restrictions
- All key players in the industry (MNOs, manufacturers, banks, merchants etc.) will need to work together to satisfy 45% of respondents who expect to be able to pay for anything, anywhere with their device
- Traditional means of paying for mobile services will still be relevant; 42% of consumers still expect to pay through the same means that they do today (direct debit, credit cards, pre-paid phones)
- There is a sentiment among some consumers (approximately one in five) that they won’t have to pay at all for their mobile network in the future as connectivity will be recognized as a fundamental human right. While this scenario is highly unlikely, it’s a sentiment MNOs will need to understand when setting price packages aimed at certain consumers
- Advertising could be an effective means to lowering subscription costs and is already expected by almost a fifth of users
- Much work is still needed to restore consumer trust in the telecoms industry and the role it shares with governments; 38% are reluctant to allow “any company to have access” to their personal data
- Almost one in five users are prepared to hand over access to all their purchases, location, likes/dislikes, browsing history etc.
After looking at this research we can figure out broadly what user’s expectations are regarding their mobile experience in different countries and referred to specific age groups, but also an overall view. Despite some of the clear answers that we’ve received, it is still difficult to predict what the future will actually look like in 2025. At the root of expectations we should consider the basic needs that drive them, i.e. safety, growth, self-awareness. In order to get a clearer picture of future trends we should therefore look at what are the fundamental needs that people will have and technology will solve. This will be discussed in following articles.