Mobile wallet spend will reach $1.35tn in 2017, according to research

image of samsung phone being held near a contactless-enabled POS terminal showing the new Samsung Pay mobile payment service

Global mobile wallet spend is set to rise 32% in 2017, reaching $1.35tn, according to a report published by Juniper Research. This is an increase from $1.02tn spent in 2016.

NFC retail payments only currently account for 5% of this total (in contrast, online payments of physical goods account for 43% of the total, and domestic money transfers account for 39% of the total), but this percentage is expected to rise to 12% by 2021.

The increase in mobile spend is currently being driven in the main by activity in Asia. 52% of all mobile wallet payments took place in China in 2016, although this percentage is expected to decrease as other regions see annual growth of up to 30% in the next three years.

Currently spending via mobile apps WeChat and AliPay is soaring, but the increased adoption of Apple Pay, PayPal and Android Pay as was indicated by a recent report by Boston Retail Partners, will ramp up the rate of mobile adoption in the West.

Other key takeaways from the report include comments that PSD2 is predictably going to have the effect of increasing the competition potential in the payments market in Europe, meaning that we could see more entrants to the industry following the implementation of the directive in 2018.

The introduction of PayPal into the POS payments space is also a factor that is going to have a significant effect on the market, according to Juniper Research. PayPal’s adoption of an HCE NFC mobile solution, and the success of its peer-to-peer social payment app Venmo, now makes PayPal a real force in the mobile payments market.

In 2015 28% of all PayPal transactions (1.37 billion transactions) occurred on a mobile device. Juniper Research estimates that PayPal’s total payment value via mobile in 2016 was $102.2bn.

Juniper Research also published a white paper titled War of the Wallets, citing 2015 as the foundation year upon which mobile wallet success in 2016 and predicted success in 2017 is based. In 2015 Apple Pay scaled up its activity in the U.S. and launched in the UK, Canada and Australia, and Samsung Pay and Android Pay were also launched. Combined, the three companies had 74 million registered mobile wallet users by the end of 2016, an increase of over 250% on 2015’s figure.

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