So far, there has been little evidence that the consumer is interested the idea of an e-purse, although mobile payment and banking services are available in many markets. That is changing.
Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that in 2013 almost 300 billion transactions, worth more than $860 billion (â‚¬675.9 billion), will be conducted using a mobile phone - a 12-fold increase in gross global transaction values in just five years.
Mobile payments and banking have evolved over the last two years. Industry initiatives, led by the GSMA, and commitments to the market from major financial services and telecoms leaders have changed the dynamics of this market.
Informa predicts that if the key players collaborate effectively the mobile payments and banking market offers a shared annual revenue opportunity of over US$10 billion in five years time. The biggest revenue opportunity is expected from mBanking services, which Informa predicts will be worth US$5.5 billion in 2013.
Our new report defines and analyses the mobile payments and mobile banking market, looking at four key sub-markets.
Remote mobile payments
Informa predicts that by 2013, over 445 million mobile subscribers will be regularly using their mobile phone to buy physical goods and services remotely. Informa estimates that of the total value of mobile payments and transactions in 2008 - around $71 billion - about a third was spent on mobile digital content such as ringtones. By 2013 over 95% of mobile transactions will be for physical goods and services.
Local (NFC) mobile payments
The market will be held back by the lack of availability of NFC-enabled handsets and uncertainties regarding the business model and business case for mobile NFC. Nevertheless, Informa forecasts that in 2013 approximately 11% of all mobile handsets shipped will be NFC-enabled and that over 178 million mobile subscribers will be regularly using mobile NFC phones to buy physical goods and services, such as tickets, locally at the point of sale.
The report examines the trend of banks in developed markets that are using the mobile phone as another channel to market for existing services and the emergence of mobile-enabled "˜branchless banking' services for unbanked consumers in developing markets. It forecasts that by 2013 there will be 977 million users of mobile banking services worldwide, a dramatic increase from approximately 67 million at the end of 2008.
Mobile Money Transfer (MMT)
MMT is primarily driven by the needs of migrant workers from emerging markets. By 2013 Informa forecasts that almost 424 million consumers will be sending over US$157 billion of personal funds via mobile within their home country, while another 73 million will be sending US$48 billion internationally.
However, uncertainties still exist, not least the potential impact of the global financial market melt-down. With the banking sector in crisis, industry and consumer confidence has been dealt a blow that will potentially severely limit spending in all parts of the economy - reducing investments in new services and infrastructure, and reducing the consumer spending needed to drive revenues from these new services.
In the developed world, the behavioural change, in both business practices of the financial institutions and of consumers themselves, will probably happen slowly, probably as a consequence of the adoption of proximity (NFC-based) payments and the increasing use of the adjuncts to mobile payments such as mobile marketing and advertising.
Once mobile phone hold multiple virtual accounts or cards, including loyalty cards as well as ad-hoc discounts (vouchers), and other applications such as mTickets and mAccess control - mobile payments and mobile banking will become integrated in the consumer's lifestyle. This will not be widespread until the end of the forecast period of this report - around 2012/13.
The report concludes that the mobile phone will ultimately become embedded in the financial services' infrastructure and be accepted as a natural means of payment by the consumer.