Mobile Payments Usage Globally to Exceed $235 Billion


Worldwide mobile payment transactions have totaled $235.4 billion for the current year, a rise of about 44 percent above the total of $163.1 billion last year. A total of $74 billion will be contributed by the Asia-Pacific region, with much of the increase coming from countries that are both developed and developing, including India, South Korea and Singapore.

A Gartner report that was recently released showed that growth of about 35 percent will be the average of worldwide mobile transactions between 2012 and 2017. Towards the end, more than 450 million consumers will have boosted the total market size to $721 billion. According to Gartner, the forecast for total value of transactions has been reduced because of lower levels of growth, particularly in Africa and North America, for 2012.

The number of users taking advantage of mobile payment worldwide will reach 245.2 million, a significant increase over 200.8 million in 2012.

In the Asia-Pacific region, mobile transactions are set to become 38 percent more popular in 2013 and climb to a total worth of $74 billion for 2013. Growth will mainly be the result of growing markets in developing and developed countries, including South Korea, India and Singapore. Asia-Pacific could end up growing bigger than Africa by 2016 and be the biggest market measured by value of transactions, which will be around $165 billion. Meanwhile, Africa is set to reach $160 billion, and organizations on the continent are presently looking for an appropriate business model to meet the needs of mobile money in their own markets.

This year, North America’s transaction value will rise to $37 billion, an increase of 53 percent from the 2012 value of $24 billion. Gartner says that the United States has experienced low rates of adoption for NFC, or near-field communication, payment services, as winning strategies seem to be missing for the apps launched by many merchants.

In 2013, the transaction value of Western Europe is set to reach $29 billion, a major increase over last year’s $19 billion. Consistent growth is expected in the region during the forecast period, but growth has slowed somewhat due to a reduced number of transactions being made by consumers in 2012. This happened as a result of many services having problems making sales and others appearing only as the year was coming to a close.

NFC Becomes Less Popular

The total value of transactions based on NFC fell by more than 40 percent because of lower adoption in every market last year. It didn’t help that major services introduced by Isis and Google Wallet wasn’t widely adopted by consumers. Estimates from Gartner say that NFC will make up only about 2 percent of the value of transactions this year and 5 percent of the value of transactions for 2017. At the same time, the market segment will experience a certain amount of growth from the increase in contactless readers and the adoption of NFC mobile phones in 2016. Merchandise purchases and money transfers will make up about 21 percent and 71 percent, respectively, of the value of 2013 mobile transactions. Those will become the biggest contributors as a result. Around the world, however, consumers are buying less through their mobile devices compared to retail outlets or e-commerce sites because mobile shopping is still lacking refinement.

Gartner said that a higher number of merchandise purchases will make up approximately 23 percent of the total transaction value expected in 2017. Money transfers will become more popular as transactions become more frequent for users, although increased availability means that values will go down. Since transaction costs for money transfers are also lower than other services offered by banks, money transfers can be called a leading use case and expected to make up nearly 69 percent of the transaction value for 2017.

This year, a 44-percent increase in mobile bill payment can be expected, and users can expect to see consistent growth over the forecast period. This will mainly be the result of increased value per transaction due to more bills being paid through mobile banking by consumers in developed countries and those in newer markets who are engaging in more high-cost transactions.

Gartner also says that in 2017, only about 5 percent of the transaction value forecast will be in the form of bill payments.

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