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Smartphone Payment Apps will Reach 5.3 Billion Devices

Mobile payment service app adoption is on the rise. According to the latest worldwide market study by IHS Markit, 3.4 billion smartphones will be ready for Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google's Android Pay by the end of 2017 -- that will increase to 5.3 billion devices by 2021.

Moreover, 11 percent of active smartphones globally will be compatible with Apple Pay; 61 percent with Android Pay; and three percent with Samsung Pay (which overlaps with Android Pay that's also available on Samsung smartphones).

Mobile Payments Market Development

"To reach these smartphones, Apple, Samsung and Google must strategically expand mobile payments services and build partnerships with banks and financial institutions," said Ruomeng Wang, analyst at IHS Markit.

By the end of the first quarter of 2017, Apple had launched Apply Pay in 15 international markets, Samsung had rolled out Samsung Pay in 14 markets, and Android Pay was available in 10 markets.

IHS Markit analysts believe that Apple and Samsung are leading the global expansion of device-based mobile payments services. Despite Apple Pay having a 10-month head start on Samsung Pay, Samsung has been catching up with Apple.

In fact, at CES 2017 in January, Samsung reported that the number of daily Samsung Pay users had doubled every week since the launch of their Samsung Rewards program in the U.S. market.

According to the IHS Markit assessment, mobile payments services can use their subscriber reward programs to engage retailers, banks and customers -- thereby adding co-branding value in terms of marketing spend and name recognition.

Outlook for Mobile Payment Market Growth

Apple and Google are working to make their mobile payments services the default payment method, tied to their own platform ecosystems. Currently there are 38 payments platforms and two million small businesses supporting Apple Pay on the web, which allows users to checkout their purchase online.

Apple Pay also is available at the App Store, and integrates with apps such as Uber, AirBnB, Lyft, Groupon, Instacart, OpenTable and Starbucks. In contrast, Android Pay enables users to make payments in Google Play, within numerous apps and on mobile web sites such as Dominos, Dunkin Donuts and Etsy in the U.S. market.

In South Korea, Samsung is working with local online shopping platforms to launch Samsung Pay Shopping. In March 2017, they partnered with Visa Checkout to expand the Samsung Pay reach outside South Korea.

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