The value of mobile commerce transactions conducted via mobile handsets and tablets will exceed $3.2 trillion by 2017, that's up from $1.5 trillion this year -- according to the latest market study by Juniper Research.
The increasing popularity of mobile devices for bill payment is reflected in the fact that the mobile banking sector accounts for the lion’s share of transaction values over the next five years.
However, to put global mCommerce into context, total financial transactions in the U.S. market alone exceeded $4,400 trillion in 2012.
Key Industry Sectors Embrace Mobile
The study findings observed that a number of key industries -- retail, airline, financial institutions -- were emphasizing the importance of the mobile channel as an engagement, delivery and payment mechanism.
Juniper cited the activities of Visa and MasterCard with regards to NFC certification and the airline industry’s wider eTicketing initiative as key developments in this regard.
Furthermore, they observed that the introduction of mobile wallet services was providing first time financial access in many emerging markets where the proportion of un-banked adults exceeded 50 percent.
In the same markets, partnerships between OTT storefronts and network operators – enabling payment via carrier billing – were enabling greater access to the digital economy.
The Hurdles to Adoption
However, Juniper noted that a number of hurdles still needed to be overcome if mCommerce were to achieve its potential in the coming years.
"A significant minority of retailers have yet to optimize their sites for mobile. Unless retailers ensure a seamless, user-friendly mobile shopping experience, they will fall behind competitors who are already using mobile channels to enhance customer relationships," said Dr Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.
Juniper's study findings also pointed out that lengthy POS (Point Of Sale) infrastructure replacement lifecycles were hampering NFC deployments in both the retail and transport sectors, with players understandably reluctant to upgrade infrastructure without a demonstrable return on investment.