In-Store Mobile Payments on the Rise

More people are going to be paying in stores with their mobile devices.

However, it’s not going to happen in a very big way this year, based on new research.

The overall size of the market of money moving through digital devices already is in the trillions of dollars globally, as I wrote about here yesterday (Digital Payments & the Move to the Trillions).

Compared to those numbers, mobile spending in stores is relatively small, as anyone who follows mobile payment activity is aware.

But those numbers also are nothing to sneeze at, with $1.8 billion paid for via mobile in brick and mortar stores, according to BI Intelligence.

While much of that mobile payment activity was obviously at Starbucks stores, the number is projected to grow to $4.5 billion this year. BI Intelligence says it’s analysis is based on its tracking of the mobile payments industry, conversation with executives at leading mobile payments companies and estimates aggregated from other research firms.

The key insight is not necessarily the amount of mobile payments last year or this year, but  the trajectory of the growth rate, more than 150% annually over five years.

By next year, consumers will be paying by phone at stores to the tune of $15.4 billion, according to the analysis. The following year, that number climbs to $41 billion.

The data reflects only the U.S. market, though mobile payments in regions outside the U.S. also are growing exponentially.

In three years, $93 billion will be spent through mobile phones in physical stores and $189 billion a year later, according to BI Intelligence.

Even if these projections are off by half, it portends a major shift in how retailers accept and manage payments in their stores.

Many of the mobile payment companies likely also see this coming growth as they attempt to be the preferred mobile payment method.

The decision left is where the consumers will go.

The topic of mobile payments is on the agenda of the MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference in New York on Aug. 7. Here’s the agenda. Hope to see you there.

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