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Global mobile payments to hit US$235B this year: Gartner

Caroline Ng | June 5, 2013
With global mobile payments set to almost double from last year, the Asia Pacific region is fast becoming the largest by transaction value, reaching US$165 billion by 2016.

Global mobile payment transactions will surpass US$235.4 billion this year, up 44 percent from US$163.1 billion last year, according to research firm, Gartner.

Asia Pacific's transaction value will hit US$74 billion, up 38 percent this year, supported by the growth in South Korea, Singapore and India.

This continued growth will enable Asia Pacific to lead other regions, achieving a transaction value of US$165 billion by 2016.

Following closely next is Africa where transaction value is forecast to reach US$160 billion in 2016.

In North America, transaction value is forecast to grow 53 percent this year, reaching US$37 billion while Western Europe is expected to grow 52 percent, reaching US$29 billion.

Despite the optimistic findings, Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, said the forecast of the total mobile transaction volume has been pruned due to subdued growth last year, especially in North America and Africa. "We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to average 35 percent annual growth between 2012 and 2017," she said.


Money transfers preside over NFC
Money transfers will occupy the lion's share of total transaction value this year, accounting for about 71 percent while merchandise purchases will account for 21 percent.

The popularity of money transfer is due to the frequent lower value transactions made by users in a range of services prevalent in the market. In addition, money transfer typically has a lower transaction cost than traditional bank services. With this, Gartner is expecting money transfer to account for almost 69 percent of the total value in 2017.

However, consumers are spending less through mobile devices than online e-commerce service and at retail outlets. Gartner has found that the enhancement of the buying experience on mobile devices will benefit merchandisers to tap into the untapped potential of mobile shopping.

Gartner has also found a disappointing adoption of transactions using Near Field Communication (NFC) - the wireless technology behind mobile payment - across all markets last year as it will only account for about two percent of total transaction value this year and five percent in 2017.

Nevertheless, NFC adoption is expected to pick up from 2016 with increase penetration of NFC mobile phones and contactless readers, giving hope to services like Google Wallet and Isis, which are currently struggling to gain traction.


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