Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:34

Mobile and wearable contactless payments to hit nearly $100 billion by 2018

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With watches, wristbands, NFC handsets, payment cards and contactless payments all the rage and only growing, reaching nearly $100 billion annually by 2018 seems assured.

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global value of mobile and wearable contactless payments is expected to reach $95 billion annually by 2018, up from less than $35 billion last year.

This is detailed in Juniper’s new research, dubbed ‘Contactless Payments: NFC Handsets, Wearables & Payment Cards 2016-2020,’ and as usual, on sale to relevant parties at relevant prices.

The research and analyst gurus explained that ‘the emergence of a range of connected wearables has piqued the interest of NFC stakeholders,’ and its research ‘anticipated that devices such as watches and wristbands would be in the vanguard of these developments, although it cautioned that the sector would take several years to reach critical mass.’

In addition, the research pointed out that ‘while nearly 9 million Apple Watches had been shipped by the end of 2015, these numbers were dwarfed by NFC-capable iPhones. As a result, it said that wearables as a whole would not account for more than 2% of non-card contactless payments by value in 2018.’

While Mobile Network Operators get further squeezed, Apple leads the way, explained Juniper.

Meanwhile, the company’s research ‘pointed to a sea change in the NFC ecosystem, with several vendors now following in the footsteps of Apple and embedding secure elements within the smartphone. It argued that this approach further weakened the contactless prospects for mobile network operators, which were effectively being cut out of the value chain.’

Although Samsung is the only other OEM to date to launch an own-brand contactless payment service, said Juniper, ‘Xiaomi has filed patents for such a service, while both ZTE and Lenovo have begun rolling out eSEs (embedded secure elements) in selected handsets.’

According to research co-author Nitin Bhas, “Most operator-led pilots and commercial ventures have now closed down. Apple’s entry into NFC gave the industry a much needed boost, and could well be seen as the tipping point for the technology, but at the same time it sounded the death knell for the mobile operator projects.”

More below, please read on!

The company said its latest edition of Contactless Payments ‘provides the most comprehensive research available today. It assesses how the dynamics of the ecosystem have changed over the years, analysing deployments and also the future role of vendors, banks and network operators.’

The research covers:

  • Contactless Payment Cards
  • Contactless Mobile & Wearable Retail Payments
  • NFC Ticketing & Coupons

The research suite comprises:

  • Market Trends & Competitive Landscape (PDF)
  • 5 Year Market Sizing & Forecast (PDF & Excel)
  • Executive Summary & Core Findings (PDF)

As usual, there is an accompanying whitepaper with more detail to tempt relevant parties into making the relevant purchase of the full research report.

The whitepaper is dubbed ‘NFC ~ No Contact Required’ and can be downloaded free of charge from Juniper’s site.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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