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Visa Europe sees a very mobile future and now predicts that more than half of all Visa payments in Europe will be mobile by 2020. The credit card company shared its prediction as part of a look back at 2011, in which Visa Europe users spent €1.16 trillion ($1.48 trillion), up 14 percent over the previous year.
Visa Europe, which exists as a European membership organization that licenses Visa Inc.’s (s v) brand and technology, expects 2012 to be a turning point as it starts rolling out its own mobile payment and digital wallet services. Visa Inc. introduced its digital wallet offering in November called V.me, which will start rolling out this year.
2020 is still a long ways off but Visa Europe’s prediction suggests that credit card companies see the shift coming in payments, from cards to ultimately money delivered by a handset. Visa Europe said in 2011 it had 30 million contactless cards in circulation and launched its first mobile payment services, with person-to-person payments and text alerts in October 2011.
We’ll see a number of mobile wallets emerge this year including offerings from Visa, Isis and PayPal (s ebay). And despite some concerns about paying by phone, it looks like more people are warming up to the idea of mobile payments. Financial companies like Visa appear to have the inside edge in terms of consumer trust. But with mobile payments expected to be a $670 billion market by 2015, there’s going to be a lot of money to go around.