Mobile payments for physical and digital goods, money transfers and NFC (Near Field Communications) transactions are becoming big business, so big, in fact that by 2015 they will be worth $670 billion.
The market for mobile payment is already thriving. According to market analyst Juniper Research the gross merchandise value of all purchases or the value of money being transferred will reach $240 billion this year.
Juniper Research senior analyst David Snow said, "Our analysis shows that emerging segments such as physical goods payments, NFC and money transfers will fuel market growth by a factor of 2.7 times by 2015. Digital goods is the largest segment and, although forecast to more than double, it is not growing as quickly as some of the newer segments."
Over the next 18 months some 20 countries are expected to launch NFC services. Mobile makers such as Nokia and Samsung are also starting to integrate NFC chips into smartphones.
Juniper Research believes that the rapid adoption of NFC technologies will result in transactions to the value of $50 billion worldwide by 2014.
Mobile payments analyst Bob Egan of the Sepharim Group, however, told Macworld that the number of NFC customers in the US will be quite small for the next few years, “fewer than eight million customers making less than one transaction per week.”
J.Gold Associates analyst Jack Gold agreed and added that a wide roll-out of NFC payments could be three or more years away in the US.
According to Juniper Research, the Far East & China, Western Europe and North America will be the first regions to gain widespread adoption of mobile payments and will represent 75 percent of the global mobile payment gross transaction in 2015.
Sales of digital goods will represent 40 percent of the market in 2015 said Juniper Research.