Juniper: 1.6B people will make a mobile transaction in 2014

The smartphone may still be a long way from replacing the back-pocket or purse wallet, but people around the world are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to buy goods, transfer money and manage their bank accounts. A new report from Juniper Research projects that 1.6 billion people globally this year will have used a mobile or tablet for at least one financial transaction.

Many of those users, particularly in developed markets, are making the easy transition from online banking and commerce to their mobile equivalents, but in some regions the mobile phone screen has become the consumer’s first entry point into the digital marketplace, Juniper found. For example, peer-to-peer mobile payments networks like M-Pesa are driving a good portion of the consumer economy in places like Kenya.

But there’s a still big leap to take from mobile browser-or app-based based commerce to point-of-sale smartphone payments that replace all of the cash and plastic in our billfolds. In a different report Juniper found that there are only about 100 million mobile wallet users globally tapping a near field communications (NFC)-based payments service like [company]Apple[/company] Pay, Softcard or [company]Google[/company] Wallet.