The average user of mobile payments will spend $62 a year with
their phones in 2012, but that grows to $1,294 in 2016, according
to eMarketer's estimate.
The steep growth curve assumes merchants continue to adopt
mobile payments and that using phones for purchases demonstrates
enough value to consumers to replace credit cards and cash. It also
assumes that a smaller group of dominant platforms and technologies
emerge from the array of confusing standards competing in the
"EMarketer believes the number and scope of the different mobile
payment solutions currently available or preparing for launch in
the next 6 to 12 months will have contradictory effects on the
market," the company said.
The mobile payments market today includes startups like Square,
LevelUp and The Protean Echo; services backed by credit card
companies like Visa (V.ME) and American Express (Serve); a
consortium of big merchants like Target and 7-11 and CVS (MCX);
tech companies like PayPal, Google Wallet and Apple's Passbook; not
to mention Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile which have their own
consortium, ISIS. Confused? Ad Age made a handy chart for you.
While the array of platforms and technologies creates confusion for
consumers, it will also raise awareness broadly, as payment options
become more ubiquitous and various players spend on marketing to
gain users. (Square, for example, recently started airing a TV
EMarketer came up with its estimates by culling other available
estimates -- mostly of the global market--and combining that with
interviews with startups, financial services firms and merchants.
They also accounted for predicted shipments of mobile phones
equipped with near-field communication technology, which is the
most widely used at checkout.