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Worldwide Contactless Payments will Exceed $1 Trillion

There's a huge upside opportunity for digital payment innovation in America. As of December 2017, Juniper Research estimates that only 9 percent of the total payment cards in circulation within the U.S. market was contactless-enabled -- this translates into just over 100 million cards.

While this is a significant installed base -- around 13 percent of total chip cards issued in the U.S. market -- Juniper estimates that only 5.5 percent of the cards were actually used to make contactless offline point-of-sale purchases in 2017.

This translates into about 6 million contactless cards used for payments. That's relatively low in comparison with more advanced markets such as Canada (60 million) and the UK (108 million).

Contactless Payment Market Development

Juniper Research forecasts that driven by payment cards and mobile wallets, in-store contactless payments will reach $2 trillion by 2020 -- that represents 15 percent of the total point of sale transactions.

Furthermore, contactless payments will exceed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018, a year earlier than previously anticipated by Juniper analysts.

However, contactless transactions will continue to be dominated by card payments, driven by strong adoption in Europe as well as the Far East & China.

Indeed, contactless card payments are the strongest across Far East & China and Rest of Asia Pacific, which together account for nearly 55 percent of global contactless card transaction values.


According to the Juniper assessment, the mobile contactless payments market will be driven by Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and other OEM Pay wallets. Combined, these OEM Pay wallets users will reach 450 million by 2020, with Apple accounting for 1 in 2 OEM Pay users globally.

"We believe that growth over the next 5 years will continue to be dominated by offerings from the major OEM players," said Nitin Bhas, head of research at Juniper Research. "Additionally, we now have the likes of Huawei Pay and Fitbit Pay launching in several markets."

Consequently, Juniper now forecasts that OEM Pay wallets will enable over $300 billion in transactions by 2020, representing 15 percent of the total contactless in-store transactions.

Outlook for Contactless Payment Application Growth

Beyond in-store payments, the analyst forecasts rapid growth in contactless ticketing payment, especially in the European and North American markets where mobile wallets have been deployed.

Juniper forecasts nearly 10 billion mobile contactless ticketing transactions, i.e. tickets purchased or validated, by 2022, with North America dominating the sector, followed by the Far East & China.

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