Mobile payment use increases globally
May 31, 2013

Mobile credit card payments are still in the beginning stages of wide-spread consumer awareness and adoption, but a new study projected the number of purchases made from a portable device will surpass last year by more than 44 percent. It continues to be a good idea for companies that already accept debit and credit cards to integrate mobile purchasing into their payment platform. Doing so can help small- and medium-sized enterprises boost sales in an increasingly competitive marketplace. 

Mobile purchases may increase in 2013 
While last year saw low consumer and retailer adoption of mobile payments, recent research by analyst Gartner found the processing platform will see significant global growth in 2013. The study estimated mobile payments may rise more than 40 percent from 2012's $163.1 billion to $235.4 billion by the end of the year. 

Sandy Shen, research director for Gartner, said the study takes into account last year's mobile payment adoption and 2013 may see an even bigger increase in generated revenue from the purchasing platform.

"Nevertheless, we have lowered the forecast of total transaction value for the forecast period due to lower-than-expected growth in 2012, especially in North America and Africa," Shen said.

According to the study, consumers and SMEs are turning to mobile payment solutions without near-field communication to adopt the purchasing method. The study found NFC devices may be on the rise, but many customers and SMEs are looking to alternative options to complete purchases on their smartphones and tablets. The study reported NFC-based transactions dropped more than 40 percent during 2012 and projects NFC will only account for 2 percent of total transaction value this year. Issues with contactless payment security forced the study to reevaluate how much revenue the method will generate by 2016. In 2012, Gartner projected NFC will total $38 billion by 2016 but now predicts it will only reach $22 billion.

Shen said that the low penetration of NFC phones will continue to be a technical obstacle for widespread mobile payment adoption. However, alternative ways to accept purchases with a portable device at the point of sale, such as Sage Mobile Payments, allows SMEs to avoid difficulties with NFC technology and are on the rise among consumers and SMEs. While many consumers are more aware of NFC for mobile payments, other options are coming to light that may offer increased benefits for the purchasing platform. 

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