Spurred on by integration between cash machines and wireless handsets, global mobile payments revenues are set to grow to $20 billion in the next two years according to research from the Arc Group.
This figure represents an annual growth rate of over 100% and, according to the report, is mainly due to the increase in new and emerging types of mobile transactions.
The report predicts that m-payments, such SMS messages that can be reverse billed or charged to accounts with airtime and pre-paid top ups from ATMs, will be followed by virtual payments which will be used for online transactions.
As the mobile retail infrastructure develops, local point of sale payments will allow mobile users to pay for purchases in stores. In addition Arc predicts the next generation of ATMs will be able to communicate with mobile phones, allowing users to access virtual cash and to build up loyalty bonus points.
These development will mean a repositioning of the players in the value chain, with mobile network operators partnering credit companies and banks to offer an integrated package of content and payment facilities.
Richard Jesty, lead author of the report, says these new payment trends are already happening in the Asia Pacific region where vending machines can already communicate with mobile phones.