Research from Gartner says that this year will see more than $171.5 billion in mobile payment transactions — a rise of over 60 percent on 2011′s $105.9 billion — with 212.2 million people (up 32 percent from 160.5 million in 2011) using some form of mobile payment service. And what’s fueling the rise? Despite the rise of smartphones, it’s legacy-based services like SMS and web-based transactions.
Longer term, Gartner believes that transactions will reach a volume of $617 billion by 2016 — with average growth slightly slowing down to around 42 percent — with 448 million users using such services.
The bulk of mobile payment transactions take place in Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, where using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to make and accept mobile payments has become routine. Europe and the United States are catching on, although they still have a long way to go before NFC and other forms of mobile payment reach mainstream adoption levels.
According to Gartner, the mobile payments arena will see continued fragmentation over the next two years, with technology providers aiming to capture the market on two different levels – local and global. As NFC payment integration slowly comes to pass, Web or Wireless Application Protocol will continue to dominate.