Gartner has suggested that mobile payment transactions will surpass $171.5bn this year, up 61% from last year.
It is expected that the number of mobile payment users will reach 212.2m this year, up from 160.5m in 2011.
Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, said: "We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to average 42 percent annual growth between 2011 and 2016, and we are forecasting a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016. This will bring opportunities for service and solution providers who will need to cater to the local demand patterns to customize their offerings.
"There will be a few global players that have the scale and resources to serve large customers and the mass market whose requirements can be readily satisfied by standard solutions. However, there will always be segments that cannot be sufficiently served by the global players. The demand of these segments can only be satisfied by specialized or local players who can better understand the segment and have specific solutions to meet the unique challenges.
"NFC payment involves a change in user behavior and requires collaboration among stakeholders that includes banks, mobile carriers, card networks and merchants. It takes time for both to happen, so we don't expect NFC payments to come into the mass market before 2015. In the meantime, ticketing, rather than retail payment, will drive NFC transactions."
Keith Brown, MD at mobile payments platform provider paythru, said: “While Gartner’s prediction shows the growth of mobile payments, the industry is still fragmented. For this technology to truly succeed, an industry-wide standard must be established and adhered to by all mobile payments providers. After all, mobile payments should seamlessly link between services, whether people use mobile apps, SMS or NFC to give the best user experience possible, rather than having to use different methods through different payment channels.
In order for m-commerce to truly take off, mobile payments need to be universal, accessible from any mobile device and agnostic to all payment methods. Only then will mobile payments become ubiquitous and part of everyday consumer behaviour.”
Mobile payment image via Shutterstock.