The popularity of mobile payments is set to rocket over the next few years, with the value of the market rising from $77.6 million in 2007 to $11.5 billion in 2011, according to a report from Juniper Research.
The firm predicts that the total transaction value for all mobile payments - including remote systems like SMS and WAP as well as contactless - will be $22 billion in 2011 compared to just $2 billion in 2007.
However Juniper notes that this is still a relatively small proportion of the payments market. In 2006 MasterCard had a reported worldwide gross domestic charge volume of $1.96 trillion.
Juniper predicts that around 52 million people will use their mobile phones as a contactless payments devise to buy goods and services by 2011. The study found around 12% of all mobile phones in circulation - nearly 470 million - will support near field communication (NFC) by 2011, providing a huge market for retailers to offer goods via mobile payment applications.
Industry players - including retailers, handset vendors and the financial community - in the Far East and US are most receptive to using NFC and radio-frequency identification (RFID) for mobile payment, says the report.
LogicaCMG recently teamed with Dutch supermarket chain C1000 to enable shoppers to use NFC-enabled handsets to pay for purchases, whilst Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo has partnered McDonald's on a similar scheme.