Mobile phone network operators -- either independently or in partnership with banks, other financial institutions and mobile payment service providers -- are developing platforms and applications to offer mobile payment services.
Such initiatives have seen the worldwide mobile payments market evolve significantly in recent years, with mobile handsets now readily used for a variety of payment-related transactions.
According to the latest market study by Portio Research, the worldwide mobile payments volume -- denoting the face value of purchases and transactions through mobile handsets -- stood at $68.7 billion in 2009, up from $45.6 billion in 2008, and will surge nine-fold to reach $633.4 billion by end-2014.
In 2009, there were 81.3 million mobile payment users worldwide and this number is forecast to grow over six-fold to reach nearly 490 million by the end of 2014, seeing the worldwide penetration of mobile payment users increasing over four-fold to reach almost 8 percent by end-2014.
Mobile payment services present huge potential for stakeholders to substantially increase their revenues and user bases. Obstacles to the adoption of mobile payments have included a lack of scalable and viable business models, lack of standardization, and fragmented commercial efforts.
However, according to Portio's assessment, the success of mobile payment business models in key markets and the uptake of services therein has revived the interest of potential stakeholders in deploying the next phase of mobile payment services worldwide.