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Location-based services: the next big thing?

Location-based services: the next big thing?
Look out for location-based services to take off in the coming year.

Look out for location-based services to take off in the coming year.

The annual Mobile Life study by global consultancy firm TNS is out, and New Zealand director David Thomas says the way in which we use our mobile devices is set to change dramatically.

Only 7 percent of Kiwis use location-based services on their phone daily compared to 19 percent globally (and that is primarily used for navigation). However, an additional 20 percent of New Zealanders who don’t currently use LBS say they are very interested in doing so.

That offers local businesses, especially those in the hospitality and tourism sectors, with an opportunity to directly target consumers, Thomas says.
 
“We are really starting to see location based services ‘come of age’. People are realising that sharing their location often offers some kind of reward in terms of a discount or deal. It is the combination of time and context – directing people towards a deal when they can easily redeem it – that unlocks a powerful tool for marketers to develop precise targeting approaches,” he said.
 
M-commerce is also on the up with strong demand across all demographic groups for mobile banking services. Currently 28 percent of New Zealanders are using mobile banking, double that of the global average, and another 39 percent are interested in doing so.

Less than 10 percent are using mobile wallet services, but nearly half are keen on the idea.

“The results of our study show that mobile banking growth will be driven by solutions that facilitate easy access to accounts, buying phone credit and paying utility bills, for example. The freedom to access banking services on the go, as well as the convenience are major drivers of mobile banking solutions, and financial institutions need to be aware of that,” said Thomas.

In the last 12 months New Zealanders have taken to smartphones like ducks to water. Almost half of the 31-40 age group own a smartphone, closely followed by those aged 22-30 years. The average Kiwi has approximately five technology devices.