Analysts at Gartner are predicting an explosion in mobile payment users this year, with the number of such purchases likely to increase by over fifty per cent.
The analyst firm said that the number of mobile payment users was likely to exceed 108 million this year, a fifty four per cent increase against 2009, when there were just over 70m users.
Despite this apparent boom, however, mobile payment users still only account for just over 2 per cent of all mobile users, it added.
The popularity of mobile payments varies across geographies, and according to Gartner, Western Europe is lagging behind other areas.
"We continue to see strong growth in developing markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa for mobile payment, while adoption in North America and Western Europe lags behind due to the plentiful choices of payment instruments that consumers have," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.
"Developing markets have found the right formula for mobile money services — functions that users want and an ecosystem that can sustain the service."
However, although these markets have a customer base ready to embrace emerging technologies, the same cannot be said for the so-called 'developed' equivalents, where users may be more reluctant to make such payments.
"The answer for developed markets, however, remains elusive," Shen added.
"Instead of a point offering for mobile payment, the service needs to be built on top of the existing payment behaviour and infrastructure so that users can choose any channel — retail, phone, online or mobile — that suits their context at the moment of payment."
SMS, or text, messages are the most popular mobile payment method, said Gartner
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