November 15, 2012
by Seth Fiegerman
Consumers and businesses worldwide will make more than $1 trillion in purchases from mobile devices by 2017, as the technology enabling mobile payments becomes increasingly common, according to a new report from IDC Financial Insights, a market research firm.
IDC predicts that the vast majority of these payments will come from mobile commerce, which includes things like making purchases through a company’s mobile website. NFC payments will make up a significant chunk as well, as this technology comes to more smartphones and retailers upgrade to point-of-sale terminals.
“The growing prevalence of smartphones is enabling a variety of mobile payment methods, which combined are becoming a significant share of global commerce,” said Aaron McPherson, IDC’s practice director of worldwide payment strategies, in a statement. “We expect growth rates to continue to accelerate as consumers and retailers become more comfortable with the technology.”
While $1 trillion might sound like a lot, IDC points out that it’s still just 2.5% of the total global payments that could be processed through mobile devices by 2017 if the technology and demand were there.
Much of this, as IDC points out, depends on financial institutions, telecoms and retailers coordinating on standards for mobile payments going forward. If not, IDC says, mobile payments may grow at a slower rate in the coming years.