Recent research by I.E. Market Research shows that mobile phone payments were worth 31.5 billion dollars in 2010, a slight decrease on 2009 due to the effects of the recession.

This company predicts, however, that global mobile phone payments will continue to rise and be worth around 950 billion USD by 2015 and 998.5 billion by 2016.

Predicted value of mobile payments in USD billions in 2015

predicted growth in mobile payments 3This chart shows the growth forecast for all types of mobile payment including SMS payments, NFC payments and the use of the mobile wallet for remittances or person-to-person payments.

“Globally, we are expecting mobile payment revenue to rise from $47.2 billion in 2011 to $998.5 billion in 2016. Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2016 will be 83.7%,” said Nizar Assanie, Vice President (Research) at IEMR. “Among different categories of mobile payment, we expect that digital purchases will be the largest category with its revenues increasing from $9.8 billion in 2011 to $250.9 billion in 2016.”

Micropayments lead the way

People used mobile payments to buy almost 6 billion USD worth of goods or services in 2010. Most of these payments were micropayments with the average amount paid being 7.22 USD.

IE Market Research predicts that the average value of mobile payments will reach 10.60 USD per transaction by 2015.

SMS payments continue to dominate mobile payment transactions

sms vs nfc 2010 v2SMS payments made up 72.1% of all mobile payment transactions in 2010. However, it is predicted that the share of SMS payments will fall to around 52% by 2015 as more retailers and users start to use NFC technology instead.

sms vs nfc 2015 v2This is a global forecast, however it should be noted that in regions such as Africa, the Middle East, South America and some parts of Asia, SMS payments are expected to continue to be the main form of mobile payment used. This is because any mobile phone is capable of sending SMS messages and therefore of being used to send and receive SMS payments.