Global mobile payment transactions to surpass $235B

Asia-Pacific will account for US$74 billion, growing at 38 percent in 2013, with developed markets including Singapore and South Korea as well as developing markets such as India driving growth in the region.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Global mobile payment transactions will generate $235.4 billion this year, growing 44 percent over last year's US$163.1 billion. Asia-Pacific will account for US$74 billion, with growth driven by both developed and developing countries such as Singapore, India, and South Korea. 

According to a Gartner report released Tuesday, global mobile transactions volume and value will clock an average growth of 35 percent between 2012 and 2017, climbing to over 450 million users and a market worth US$721 billion by 2017. 

Sandy Shen, Gartner's research director, said in the report: "Nevertheless, we have lowered the forecast of total transaction value for the forecast period due to lower-than-expected growth in 2012, especially in North America and Africa."

Globally, the number of mobile payment users worldwide will hit 245.2 million this year, compared to 200.8 million in 2012. 

Asia-Pacific will see mobile transactions will climb 38 percent in 2013 to reach a value of US$74 billion in 2013, with growth driven by both developed and developing markets such as Singapore, South Korea, and India. By 2016, Asia-Pacific will surpass Africa to become the largest region by transaction value, hitting US$165 billion. In comparison, Africa is projected to clock US$160 billion, with organizations there still seeking out the most suitable business model for mobile money in their local markets, Gartner explained. 

Transaction value in North America will reach US$37 billion this year, up 53 percent from US$24 billion in 2012. According to Gartner, the U.S. has seen low adoption of NFC (near-field communication) payment services with many merchants launching apps without a clear winning strategy.

Western Europe's transaction value is projected to hit $29 billion in 2013, compared to US$19 billion last year. The region will see steady growth over the forecast period, but growth has been impacted by a dip in the average number of transactions per user in 2012 as several services struggled to generate sales and others launched only toward the end of the year. 

NFC loses traction

The value of NFC-based transactions dipped by over 40 percent during the forecast period due to disappointing adoption in all markets last year, which was further exacerbated by some high-profile services such as Google Wallet and Isis that failed to gain traction.

According to Gartner estimates, NFC will account for just 2 percent of total transaction value this year and 5 percent of the total transaction value in 2017. The market segment, however, will see some growth from 2016 when the adoption of NFC mobile phones and contactless readers increases.

Money transfers and merchandise purchases will account for about 71 percent and 21 percent, respectively, of total mobile transaction value in 2013, making these the largest contributors. Globally, though, consumers are purchasing less via mobile devices--than online e-commerce sites and at retail outlest--because the buying experience on mobile devices still needs improvement, Gartner noted. 

The research firm added that merchandise purchases will account for about 23 percent of the total value forecast for 2017. Money transfers will see growing adoption as users are transacting more frequently--though at lower values--due to wider availability of services. Transaction costs also are lower than those of traditional bank services, it added, placing money transfers as a leading use case and one that will account for almost 69 percent of total value in 2017, Gartner said. 

Mobile bill payment will grow 44 percent this year and see stead growth throughout the forecast period, driven by higher value per transaction as more consumers in developed markets perform bill payments via mobile banking services, along with consumers in emerging markets who are transacting at higher values than originally forecast.

According to Gartner, bill payments will account for 5 percent of the total value forecast for 2017.

Editorial standards