The annual gross transaction value of payments made via mobile phones to buy digital and physical goods is set to grow more than fivefold over the next five years, analyst house Juniper Research has predicted.
The gross transaction value of payments made via mobiles for digital goods, such as music, tickets and games, and physical items, such as books, will exceed $300bn (£151bn) per year globally by 2013, according to the report.
Juniper said there are "significant and immediate" opportunities for mobile-payment services, systems, software and supporting services. Report author Howard Wilcox added that retailers need to move quickly to exploit the opportunities presented by the mobile web.
He said in a statement: "Merchants in North America and Western Europe are just starting to realise the potential of a mobile-web presence as a fourth channel to market. Retailers should be evaluating the benefits of the mobile web, and be mindful of the success of regular e-commerce sites in generating sales."
"They need to move quickly to exploit the opportunity presented, and ensure that they maintain ease of use for their customers who are already familiar with web shopping from their PCs," Wilcox said.
According to the report, Mobile Payment Markets: Digital & Physical Goods 2008–2013, the ticketing segment will represent more than 40 percent of the global transaction value by 2013, and will be driven by consumer usage on rail, air and bus networks, as well as sports and entertainment events.
The Far East and Western Europe will be the top two regions for mobile payments by 2013, accounting for 60 percent of the $300bn global transaction value. The analyst said Western Europe is currently dominated by digital goods and services sold via SMS, while, in the Far East region, Japan is well established in physical goods sales over the mobile web.
A recent Juniper Research report estimated the total value of mobile payments for digital and physical goods, and mobile financial services transactions — including mobile remittance and payments made via NFC (near field communications) — will exceed $587bn by 2011.