The arrival of mobile payments, which is essentially the ability to use your phone as a wallet, is having a big impact on many sectors, and is throwing up some interesting investment opportunities. The IT research company, Gartner, project global mobile transaction growth to average 42 percent per year between 2011 and 2016 and estimate a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016.
There are a plethora of different technologies and standards being used in a globally fragmented market with big regional differences in what solutions are being used and how people tend to use them.
Probably the biggest difference is between developed and emerging markets. For developed markets the benefits are based around convenience; where customers are able to make faster transactions, as well as reduced transaction costs for retailers as using mobile payments are generally cheaper than existing chip and pin transactions.