Strong outlook for mobile payment this year
EMEA region alone will have more than 27 million mobile payment users in 2010
The number of people using their mobile phone to make and receive payments will exceed 108 million this year, research firm Gartner predicts.
Last year there were 70.2 million mobile payment users and that figure will more than double to reach 108.6 million in 2010.
"We continue to see strong growth in developing markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa for mobile payment, while adoption in North America and Western Europe lags behind due to the plentiful choices of payment instruments that consumers have," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. "Developing markets have found the right formula for mobile money services - functions that users want and an ecosystem that can sustain the service."
The EMEA region alone had 16.8 million mobile payment users last year, though the segment is expected to top 27 million in 2010. It however only represents 2.1% of all mobile users in the region.
Shen says that the strong demand for mobile payment in developing markets is being driven by people that do not have ready access to the banking infrastructure or PC, positioning mobile as the natural choice of access platform.
The Gartner analyst also highlighted that Short Message Service (SMS) remains the dominant mobile payment technology for its ease of use, and warns that many financial institutions have failed to see the business case of Near Field Communication (NFC) payment, in particular, which offers similar functionality to contactless cards but with the added complexity of dealing with mobile carriers and other ecosystem partners.