Mobile payments set for strong global growth but NFC stalls - Gartner

Mobile payments set for strong global growth but NFC stalls - Gartner

The worldwide transaction value of mobile payments will soar this year, up 44% on 2012, according to Gartner. However, the research house has slashed its expectations for NFC, which continues to struggle to pick up momentum.

Gartner predicts that worldwide mobile payment transaction values will reach $235.4 billion in 2013 up from $163.1 billion, while the number of people using the technology will hit 245.2 million, up from 200.8 million.

With annual growth of 35%, by 2017 transaction values should hit $721 billion and user numbers 450 million people, although this is lower than Gartner had previously expected.

However, one mobile payment method, NFC, will not be making a significant contribution to this growth. Garter has cut its expected transaction value for NFC in 2016 from $38 billion to $22 billion - a 40% correction.

The analyst house blames the huge change on a worldwide trend of poor uptake last year, highlighting major disappointments such as Google Wallet and the US telco JV, Isis. NFC is expected to account for only about two per cent of total transaction value in 2013 and five per cent in 2017.

In contrast, money transfers will account for about 71% of total transaction value this year and continue to perform strongly thanks to increased availability of services and to costs that are lower than those of traditional bank services.

Mobile commerce will make up around a fifth of total transaction value in 2013 but Gartner says that disappointing customer experience means it still lags behind the high street and traditional e-commerce.

Demand in the developing world will see the value of bill payment transactions grow by 44% this year but it will continue to be a relatively small piece of the mobile pie, predicted to account for about five per cent of the total value forecast for 2017.

Gartner also expects to see Asia Pacific become the largest region by transaction value by 2016, reaching $165 billion, overtaking Africa, at $160 billion. Asia Pacific's transaction value is expected to grow 38% in 2013 to reach $74 billion, driven by countries such as South Korea, Singapore and India 

The low adoption of NFC payment services, as well as the numerous merchant mobile apps, has hit the North American region but its transaction value is still expected to grow by more than 50% in 2013, reaching $37 billion. Western Europe will experience steady growth, reaching $29 billion this year, up from $19 billion in 2012.

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