The installed base of mPOS devices is set to make up to 46% of all point-of-sale terminals in circulation by 2019, according to forecasts by ABI Research.
The fivefold increase in penetration is not just being driven by micro-merchant adoption, says ABI, as mPOS vendors are increasingly focused on sales higher up the value chain to mid-market and larger department stores.
Senior ABI analyst Phil Sealy comments: "There has been much said about the cannibalisation of the traditional POS market, but ABI Research believes that both traditional POS and mPOS can grow together in tandem, co-existing, expanding the presence of digital payment acceptance."
Separate research published by Visa this week, which questioned 2000 small businesses in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Poland, suggested that over a quarter of European SMEs are prepared to shake off their initial reluctance to use the technology and try out the devices within the next six months.
Yet, despite the potential, questions remain about the business viability of mPOS and if it can be a profitable and sustainable business. The pioneer in the mPOS space, US-based Square, is currently battling widening losses and a shrinking cash pile as the marginal nature of the revenue returns begins to bite.
There will be casualties. With twenty-five independent mPOS solutions currently jockeying for position across Europe and several key banks preparing to enter the space, a market shakedown appears inevitable.