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Asians lead way in rapid growth of mobile phone payments

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Jun 2010 17:37

Asians lead way in rapid growth of mobile phone payments According to Gartner research firm, the number of people worldwide using mobile phones to make payments will rise by about 50 percent by the end of the year, with Asian users leading the way. In 2009, there were 70.2 million mobile payment users worldwide. Gartner expects this number to grow to 108.6 million people by the end of 2010.
Mobile phone users that make payments using their handsets will represent about 2.1 percent of all users in 2010. The number of users making mobile payments in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to rise form 2009's 41.8 million to 62.8 million this year.

While the number of such users in North America is expected to rise from just 1.9 million to 3.5 million this year, the numbers are much higher for Eastern Europe, the Middle East and African countries, expected to rise from 16.8 million to 27.1 million.

"We continue to see strong growth in developing markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa for mobile payment, while adoption in North America and Western Europe lags behind due to the plentiful choices of payment instruments that consumers have," Gartner research director Sandy Shen said.

"Developing markets have found the right formula for mobile money services -- functions that users want and an ecosystem that can sustain the service." In countries where only a minority have bank accounts, the number of mobile users can be very high, making it an attractive service to use.

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