Mobile wallets must lure consumers

Transactions using in-store mobile wallets will hit €45 billion in the European Union in 2017, but only if a wide range of non-payment services are developed, Berg Insight warns.
The research firm predicts payments made using in-store mobile wallets will grow at a CAGR of 275% between 2012 and 2017, based on a total of €0.1 billion in 2012. The payment method is set to gain traction in 2013, with Berg predicting half of EU markets will have commercial services by the year end. By 2017, in-store mobile wallet payments will account for 1.6% of all debit and credit card transactions, the firm forecasts.
However, Lars Kurkinen, telecom analyst at the firm, says consumers will need to be given other reasons to switch to the new payment option. “People do not have a problem with cash or payment cards today. Value added services that enable new shopping experiences…will be what truly distinguish mobile wallets.”
European operators including T-Mobile, Orange, and Telefonica are involved in some of the projects in the pipeline – a head start Kurkinen says will be crucial to long-term success in the market. “[O]nly a limited number of mobile wallet services will survive in each market due to network effects.”
Berg Insight also reveals the number of countries with commercial NFC mobile wallet services hit 13 in 1Q13, compared to six at end 2011. The firm states the number of NFC enabled handsets in use reached 170 million in 2012, and predicts this will grow to 2.1 billion in 2017.