Demand for mobile payment services in developing markets will fuel a 54.5% rise in user numbers in 2010, research firm Gartner predicts.
The firm forecasts user numbers will hit 108.6 million this year, up from 70.2 million in 2009, driven mostly by growth in Asia Pacific countries, which the firm expects to account for 62.8 million of the total by the end of the year.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa will be the next largest market, with users forecast to grow 61% to 27 million in 2010, followed by Latin America – up 56% to 8 million, with Western Europe up 57.7% to 7.1 million and North America growing 83.8% to 3.5 million.
Sandy Shen, research director at the firm, said demand is higher in developing markets because users have fewer payment options than those in developed markets, but have found the right mix of “functions that users want, and an ecosystem that can sustain the service.”
She believes future growth will be driven by greater interoperability between the services available, and by using platforms that can work on banking and mobile operator’s systems.