Blog Post

Mobile Payments: A Guide to the Growing Market in Your Pocket

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Cell phones represent the killer combination of their owner’s identity, presence and wallet — and they are nearly ubiquitous, with an estimated five billion global active subscriptions predicted before the end of 2010. As such, using phones to pay for things provides a huge growth opportunity in the mobile market. Generator Research recently predicted that the worldwide market for mobile payments would grow to $633.4 billion by 2014, up from $68.7 billion in 2009.
So, after many years of promise, mobile payments are finally finding their stride — but it’s not just one stride. In writing about the space, I admit I’ve been confused many times by what people actually mean when they say “mobile payments.” Is it when people buy things on their phone? Within a mobile application? Using their phone number? Using their physical handset? When they pay their bills from their phone? When they split a tab via text message?

The answer is yes — in fact, all of these are rapidly growing businesses. In the hopes that I could help other people more easily understand the mobile payments space, I spent some time talking to many of the players about their business. I then wrote a longer post for GigaOM Pro, our subscription research service, that lays out the different subsets, challenges and opportunities they face.

Companies mentioned in this feature include Allopass, Apple, AT&T, Bling Nation, Boku, ClairMail, Danal, Facebook, FeliCa Networks, Firethorn, Globe, mFoundry, Mopay, M-PESA, O2 Money, Oi Paggo, Obopay, Smart, Square, PayPal, Venmo, Verizon, Visa, ViVOtech and Zong. I hope you’ll check it out!

12 Responses to “Mobile Payments: A Guide to the Growing Market in Your Pocket”

  1. While everyone agrees the idea of mobile payments is a good one in theory, questions of usability, security and interoperability have hindered its widespread adoption in the U.S.

    XIPWIRE (pronounced Zip Wire) is a mobile payment service that addresses all of these concerns with its text-based platform.

    More info on how XIPWIRE can turn any cell phone into a universal payment device can be found here:

    More info how to use XIPWIRE to text cash can be found here:

  2. I think this is more than huge. Especially for the affiliate marketing/performance marketing space. Imagine if there was a way to buy a Groupon coupon while you were walking around a mall. Massive!