[Dave Birch] Payments isn’t the only driver, or in fact even the main driver, of transactions in the mobile commerce world. It’s natural that this blog tends to look at the mobile payments space, but in order to understand that space properly it’s important to see the context for payment transactions as transactions of many kinds. As in the case of contactless card rollout in London, the future trajectory of cash replacement is intimately linked to the future trajectory of ticket replacement. Transport operators only provide ticketing systems because the payments industry does not provide any suitable payment products, so if it were to start providing suitable payment products then it would have an enormous market ripe and ready to generate initial volumes for the new products.
Over 400 million subscribers will use mobile ticketing systems by 2013, contributing to gross transactions of $92bn (£53.8bn), according to recent research by mobile analyst firm Juniper Research.
[From Mobile ticketing still facing barriers – vnunet.com]
If this number seems high, you need to see it in the context of the mobile commerce that is already being carried out in markets around the world. In Japan — everyone’s favourite example, of course — there is already a $100 billion+ m-commerce market and it’s still growing strongly.
The country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications says business carried out through cell phones in Japan was worth $106 billion in 2007 (up 23% from 2006), with m-commerce accounting for $67 billion and the mobile content market for $39 billion. Just one example: Cell phone owners downloaded music worth $10.2 billion, 42% more than in 2006.
[From Japan’s super-advanced mobile web: Too unique to serve as a global blueprint?]
The reason why I tend to focus on mobile a lot with various clients at the moment is because I think we’re at an interesting point in the evolution of digital financial services as we begin to realise that mobile is not the niche, but the maintstream.
Mobile services today are about where the Internet was in 1996. And globally, mobile banking and payments will be even more important that online banking and payments.
[From Why New Financial Technology Remains Important (NetBanker)]
I couldn’t agree more. We have to stop thinking of m-financial services (including m-payments) as being the same as Internet financial services but with a small screen.