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Personal Mobile Payments on the Rise in Europe

Sales value may approach $150 billion by 2021

April 10, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

Overall, shoppers in Western Europe have shown little interest in mobile payments to date. In France, for example, more than half of smartphone users polled by Ifop in December 2016 said they were not willing to use mobile payments, even for purchases less than €20 ($22).

But mobile payments are finally poised for takeoff, according to Forrester Research. It expects the value of mobile transactions in the EU-7—France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK—to jump almost threefold during the next five years, from $52 billion at the end of 2015 to $148 billion by 2021, spurred by increasing consumer awareness and growing retailer interest in mobile payment options.

Forrester defines mobile payments as including in-person mobile payments, such as proximity (contactless) payments; remote mobile payments (made via an app or mobile website when the buyer is not physically in a store); and peer-to-peer payments. All of these behaviors will become more widespread, with growth due to several factors:

  • Proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices capable of in-person mobile payments.
  • Greater consumer awareness of and familiarity with mobile payment options.
  • Convenience of mobile payments.
  • Launch of more mobile payment schemes.
  • Retailer interest and investment in mobile payments solutions.

Of the three types of mobile payment, in­person payments will rise fastest, Forrester believes, soaring from an estimated $4.6 billion in 2016 to $22.8 billion in 2021. By then, in-person transactions are expected to account for more than 15% of all mobile payments across the EU-7.

Proximity Mobile Payment Transaction Value in the EU-7*, 2016 & 2021 (billions)

Remote mobile payments will increase more slowly across the EU-7, but will remain the largest segment of the market by a sizable margin, according to Forrester. The value of remote mobile transactions is projected to climb at a compound annual growth rate of 20% and make up two­thirds of mobile payments in 2021. Payment buttons placed in apps and within mobile websites will claim a growing share of these remote sales.

Karin von Abrams

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