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50 percent of mobile subscribers to make mobile payments by 2014

April 22, 2010

payments1Nearly half of all mobile phone users worldwide will make mobile payments by 2014 – representing growth of nearly a billion users compared to 2010, according to Juniper Research.

The “Mobile Payments for Digital and Physical Goods” report found that smartphone applications and mobile Internet are propelling the use of mobile payments. Additionally, the company saw a new trend of mobile storefronts and malls launching, as well as new smartphone applications and mobile payment services from companies such as eBay, Amazon and Digby.

“I think it’s down to ease of use and use of convenience,” said Howard Wilcox, senior anaylist at Juniper, Basingstoke, Hampshire, Britain. “The mobile is the ultimate personal tool.

“We are looking at the growth of mobile payments and by 2014 we forecast close to 50 percent of mobile phone users will be using their mobile phone to make payments,” he said. “We have researched mobile ticketing and mobile coupons and are seeing a very rapid integration of mobile.”

Juniper Research provides analysis of the mobile and wireless sector.

The rise of mobile payments
According to the report, segments such as ticketing and payments for physical goods are being spurred by the phenomenal take-up of applications coupled with the availability of multilingual versions of platforms including eBay.

Mobile payments are now becoming integrated into a wider mobile Web shopping experience that includes browsing, coupons and advertising.

The user experience, however, needs to be enjoyable, easy and consistent. Lack of user support and help could threaten the spread of mobile payments, according to Juniper.

“We’re seeing the integration of mobile,” Mr. Wilcox said. “Nearly one in two mobile phones will be involved in a payment transaction in 2014.

“If you aggregate those transactions, it’s actually small cash transactions, debit transactions – the mobile amount sounds like a big number, but it’s actually a very small proportion,” he said. “The prediction is that mobile has great potential and it’s only going to play a bigger part going forward.

“The in-store shopping experience is also a key part of this going forward – in terms of location-based services, mobile is going to be more integrated in our experience.”

Mobile forecast
Additionally, the report shows that in-application billing will play a key role in developing on-going revenue streams for carriers and growth will not be restricted to the developed regions – in excess of 500 million users in the Indian Sub Continent for example, will be making a mobile payment in 2014.

“What is surprising is the growth of mobile malls, not only in North America, but India as well,” Mr. Wilcox said. “They offer a wide range of products that you can buy with your phone.

“Marketers need to take on board that mobile is personal,” he said. “It is not just about payments, if you think about it, mobile has an integral part to pay in the purchase – advertising, coupons, purchase products and mobile loyalty.

“Really, going forward, mobile is going to be very closely integrated with shopping.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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