The total value of mobile transactions worldwide will exceed $171.5 billion (£109 billion) this year, a 61.9% increase from last year’s total. That’s the latest calculation from Gartner, which also expects the number of mobile payment users to reach 212.2 million in 2012, up from 160.5 million last year.
Gartner’s research shows that SMS remains the dominant access technology in developing markets, while web and WAP is the preferred access technology in North America and Western Europe. Web/WAP access is expected to account for about 80% of transdactions in Western Europe and 88% of total transactions in North America by 2016, when growth in Near Field Communication (NFC) transactions is expected to pick up.
Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, said “We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to average 42% annual growth between 2011 and 2016, and we are forecasting a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016. This will bring opportunities for service and solution providers who will need to cater to the local demand patterns to customize their offerings. There will be a few global players that have the scale and resources to serve large customers and the mass market whose requirements can be readily satisfied by standard solutions. However, there will always be segments that cannot be sufficiently served by the global players. The demand of these segments can only be satisfied by specialized or local players who can better understand the segment and have specific solutions to meet the unique challenges.”
Online and in-store merchandise purchases will drive transactions in North America and Western Europe, while money transfer and airtime top-ups will account for most transaction volume in developing markets.