Accessibility of Mobile E-Commerce

The “Digital Divide” has widened with the creation of the new generation of mobile phone based payment (M-Payment) systems. New devices and services create new barriers for people with disabilities as new technologies are often not designed with their needs in mind. The study looked at four types of M-Payment systems: voice activated, web-based, text messaging, and  a combination text messaging and web based style applications. The study was conducted in several cities across Canada. It involved users who were blind, hard of hearing, deaf and those with severe mobility impairments. The study summarizes the key barriers encountered by each of the disability groups. The study used a series of user trials with people with vision, mobility and hearing impairments. The study included a review of existing cellphone based payment systems, supporting AT and compatible cellphones

The use of M-Payments in North America (United States and Canada) is expected to rise to $26.9 billion by 2013, a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 98%. In addition, North America will account for 24% of the world market share for Mobile Payments by Gross Transaction Values. An important change in how consumers buy goods is underway.

This study was funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnership Program – Disability Component (opens in a new window) .

For more information on this study or to obtain a copy of this report please contact

Harry Lew, Manager of Research and Development
T 604.412.7599