Experts: Mobile Commerce Is Set to Explode

Despite early predictions that e-commerce sites could never compete with traditional retail stores on a global scale, buying online has become so commonplace that sales are expected to top $1.3 trillion worldwide by 2013.

Similarly, some observers assert that mobile payments are merely a fad. But the technologies that enable merchants to conduct credit card transactions on the fly (via digital devices such as smartphones) are already reshaping the marketplace.

Mobile commerce is ready to explode. Need evidence? Consider these facts:

  • Major financial institutions are wholeheartedly embracing mobile payments. Bank of America predicts that it will earn $67.1 billion in mobile payments revenue from U.S. and European consumers in 2015.
  • According to Juniper Research, worldwide gross receipts from mobile payments will surge to $1.7 trillion by 2017. The same organization reports that about 4 percent of all global transactions in 2017 will involve mobile payments.
  • Smartphones aren’t just for checking email and surfing the web anymore. The BI Intelligence Report reveals that almost three of every 10 smartphone users have used a mobile device to make a purchase.
  • In 2010, 3.9 percent of the e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) were from mobile devices, according to Business Insider. That figure jumped to 6.6 percent for Cyber Monday 2011.
  • Mobile payments are also poised to take off in China, where there are three times as many mobile phones in use as credit and debit cards combined. Not surprisingly, MasterCard and Visa are doing all they can to capture Chinese market share.
  • Consumers are not only using mobile payments more frequently, but also spending more in the process. Based on data provided by mobile marketing company Velti, the average dollar amount spent using mobile payments climbed about 9 percent from February to May 2012.
  • Not surprisingly, young adults between the ages of 18 to 34 are driving the expansion of mobile payments — and not just to purchase goods or services. According to one study by Boston Consulting Group, about 15 percent of Millennials surveyed have used mobile payments to donate to charitable organizations.
  • Many believe that mobile payments will become so ubiquitous in the coming years that they will largely replace cash and credit cards altogether. About 65 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project voiced that opinion.

So, if someone tells you that mobile commerce isn’t that big of a deal, you can point to this evidence that suggests otherwise.

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