Report: Lack of Trust Limits Mobile App Downloads

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Mobile industry trade association MEF has released the results of its third annual Global Consumer Trust Report, which measures how the areas of trust, privacy, transparency and security relate to mobile consumers and their purchase / app download decisions. The report was supported by AVG Technologies, and measured data from 15,000 mobile media users in 15 countries.

The report found that, as in previous years, trust remains the largest obstacle for companies to overcome, with 49 percent of respondents indicating a lack of trust as the number one factor preventing them from downloading an app or using it after it’s been installed. Interestingly, this figure is an increase from 37 percent in 2013.

In addition, 34 percent of respondents say a lack of trust prevents them from buying goods and services using their mobile device. The United States experienced the largest increase in lack of overall trust (of the markets studied) in 2014, at 35 percent, a increase of nine percent year-over-year.

The report found security and privacy to be important factors when choosing a mobile device as well, with 40 percent of respondents naming “security and privacy” as the most important factor in their decision. This is compared to other categories, such as the device’s processing power or screen size (it’s worth noting price and brand were not available options).

In keeping with this, 36 percent of users say trust limits their willingness to try mobile wallets. Specifically, 23 percent of users fear their personal information might be used without their consent, while 22 percent fear their financial data may be stolen.

Overall, 72 percent of respondents indicated they were not comfortable sharing their personal information in 2014, up from 65 percent in 2013. On the same topic, 63 percent of users indicated data collection transparency was “important” or “extremely important” in 2014, which is an increase from 49 percent last year.

Unfortunately, 36 percent of app users claim they never shared data with apps in 2014, but since many apps rarely give users a choice in the matter (using the app is considered permission), this high number seems to indicate a lack of user understanding, and a lack of transparency on the part of app developers, on how and when apps take this information anyway.

In a statement, Andrew Bud, MEF global chair, commented on the latest results:

Trust is the most important asset of any business, and consumer confidence must underpin the mobile ecosystem. The sustainability of the mobile industry depends on it. As mobile devices and services evolve, consumers will hold business ever more accountable.

Users can download a copy of the Executive Summary of this report, here.

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