Mobile payments to grow 62 percent in 2012, Gartner says
The amount of purchases made on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets computers is expected to reach $171 billion this year, representing a 62 percent increase over 2011, according to research firm Gartner.
Several forms of mobile payment will be relevant in 2012, including near-field communication (NFC) and short message service (SMS). But according to Gartner, web- and wireless application-based purchases will far exceed all other forms of mobile payment.
Web purchases are especially popular in the United States, and Gartner expects this form of payment to account for 88 percent of mobile transactions in 2016. NFC, meanwhile, is popular in Europe and certain Asian countries, and SMS is more common in developing countries.
Gartner notes that NFC, which enables a consumer to complete a transaction by tapping his or her mobile device against a specialized reader, will see more growth after 2015. Though it is already becoming more common for public transit and other transactions, NFC requires too much of a change for widespread use at the moment.
J. Gold Associates principal analyst Jack Gold has noted that NFC technology is also likely to become prevalent in the emerging Ultrabook™ computer. Though this is still a relatively new concept, such capabilities could allow users to make purchases simply by tapping their payment cards to their PCs.