BRIC m-pay users will hit 290m by 2015

The number of users accessing mobile payment systems in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) will surge by almost a million per week to hit 290 million by 2015, consultancy Arthur D. Little predicts.
High mobile phone penetration and low access to regular banking services will drive users from 32 million currently, presenting good opportunities for m-payment providers in those markets, the firm said.
Managing director Thomas Kuruvilla says the geography of the markets is another factor in the expected growth, noting there is a “substantial base of people on a low income spread across vast distances who own mobile phones and require banking services.”
That creates an opportunity for service providers to “meet the need for a more extensive payment distribution network, especially in rural areas,” he added.
The firm predicts traditional banks will take the lead in Brazil and India, while in Russia MNO’s will likely start offering mobile utility bill payment services
China is likely to use SMS infrastructure to develop m-payment systems, the consultancy forecasts.
Juniper Research predicts almost half of global mobile subscribers will pay for goods using their handset by 2014, reports.
To-date, the m-payments sector has been dominated by new entrants, including Nokia’s Obopay, Mi-Pay, and Pay-for-it – a joint initiative by UK carriers.
However mobile carriers are increasingly interested in the opportunities presented by mobile payments and banking, with AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA reportedly set to trial a smartphone-based payments system later this year, according to Bloomberg.