Apple Pay will drive contactless payments made through mobile digital wallets to the £200m mark by the end of 2016, according to Juniper Research.
The company said that the iPhone and Apple Watch NFC payment service, which launched in the UK this year, will fuel awareness of mobile wallets, in turn prompting a 100 percent surge in contactless payments compared with 2014.
Juniper found that the level of growth in mobile wallet payments to date has been powered by person-to-person services in developing markets where people lack individual bank accounts.
The research reported a significant rise in mobile wallet use in these markets to facilitate savings and loan disbursements, noting that more than 100 million are in use for micro-insurance.
However, the next wave of growth will be spurred by improved awareness of mobile wallets, started by Apple Pay and bolstered with new services entering the markets, such as Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
The research suggested that public awareness of mobile wallets will bypass the need for new contactless payments to seed the market with awareness.
Juniper also found that several members of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) Consortium are abandoning their ‘closed shop' stance of not adopting Apple Pay to become more accepting of the service.
Dr Windsor Holden, author of Juniper's Mobile Wallets - The Future of Cash whitepaper, said that the Consortium's postponing of its own contactless payment service has not done its retail partners any favours.
Not agreeing partner terms with card payment companies has also been cited as a stumbling block for the Consortium's own payment service.
"By the time MCX launches, US consumers will have a choice of perhaps half a dozen other mobile wallet [services], not to mention the fact that an increasing number will also have contactless payment cards. In addition, the reliance on store brand payment cards could ultimately be a fatal flaw for the service," added Holden.
The research also found that consortia of mobile operators are struggling to compete in the payments market. Mobile marketing and commerce services firm Weve dropped its mobile wallet in the UK.
Payments on mobile devices are also helping online transactions soar. Juniper predicted that online purchases will hit 125 billion by 2018 as the ‘commuter commerce' trend rises.
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