Why Mobile Payments Are Poised For Takeoff

Why Mobile Payments Are Poised For Takeoff

JOSH LUGER JUN. 23, 2013, 4:21 PM 8,402 5


Mobile devices are edging closer to fulfilling their long-delayed promise as digital wallets. Consumers are beginning to see the advantage of channeling offline payments through their mobile devices, rather than carrying around clunky coins and cash — even debit and credit cards. Consumers are primed to go wallet-free and begin paying for goods and services via their mobile devices, and as a result, mobile payments are set to explode.

In a new report from BI Intelligence we explain the main reasons why mobile payments are poised for takeoff, provide proprietary estimates for the growth and size of the mobile payments market in the years to come, and analyze the specific trends that will help shape the growth in mobile payments, including user concerns around security, the demographic and geographic nature of the consumers who will drive the growth, merchant side adoption, and the mobile payments solutions that will lead the charge.

Here’s a brief overview of the current state of the mobile payments race: 

Overall, we’re still in the early stages of mobile payments adoption: As of year-end 2012, only 7.9 million U.S. consumers (less than 90 percent of the total) had adopted a consumer-facing NFC-compatible system like “Google Wallet,” or apps that use QR codes or other methods to generate a payment. But, in-store mobile payments nearly quadrupled last year, card readers are building up real scale, and mobile payments as part of mobile commerce is exploding (PayPal alone processed $14 billion in mobile payments last year). 

Increase smartphone penetration in major global countries will help fuel a ton of growth: In Africa, mobile payments have grown as an alternative route of channeling economic activity, since banking infrastructure is poor or nonexistent. In Asia, mobile payments have prospered as a part of a wider smartphone-centric culture that integrates handsets into many facets of everyday economic life and consumer-facing infrastructure. As smartphone penetration increases across the board, so will global mobile payments.

As will large-scale adoption of tablets and smartphones as registers on the merchant side: Many mobile payments solutions for merchants, which transform tablets and even smartphones into registers, still rely on consumer use of physical credit cards. Many mobile payments market estimates miss the fact that small businesses and enterprises are adopting mobile for point-of-sale tools. Merchant-side adoption fuels transaction value growth. The increased convenience, for merchants and consumers, of mobile payments services, which are nearing “convenience parity” with credit cards and cash.

Just how big will mobile payments become? We forecast that, by 2017, the total value of global offline transactions facilitated by mobile devices will reach about $1.5 trillion, up from $120 billion in 2012. In the U.S., transaction value will rise to $244 billion in 2017, from $15 billion last year. The number of mobile payments users globally is set to explode as well. By 2017, the total consumer user-base will climb past the 500 million mark. That will be more than a five-fold increase from the less than 75 million consumers who used mobile payments at year-end 2012.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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