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MCOMMERCE: THE SURGING PAYMENTS MARKET

Since the dawn of the smartphone, many companies have attempted to spearhead and experiment within the mobile commerce market. Yet, comparatively, mcommerce has been slow to evolve. Brands were initially idle in responding to the emergence of the mobile web; in turn, this led to supine consumer uptake of mobile purchasing behaviours.

Now however, mcommerce is going from strength to strength. By 2017, IDC predict worldwide purchases on mobile devices will exceed $1 trillion. In the US alone, mcommerce sales this year are expected to hit $41.68 billion, accounting for 16% of all ecommerce sales. Popularity of mcommerce is similar in the UK too: £6.61 billion is expected to be spent through British mobile devices in 2013. By 2017, mcommerce in the US and UK is expected to account for over one-quarter of ecommerce sales.

It is however a misconception that mcommerce is simply the privilege of shoppers in Western society. Consumers in developing markets are increasingly taking up mobile payment services too. In Kenya, for example, mobile payment provider M-Pesa processes over 80 transactions per second. The service now boasts more than 15 million users, with one-third of Kenya’s GDP being transacted through the service.

Similarly, Chinese smartphone adopters have increasingly moved towards mcommerce: 43% claim to make purchases through their mobile device, with a further 48% banking from their smartphone.

The surge in mobile payments is not simply a shift in Western cultural behaviour, but a global phenomenon. The uptake of mcommerce behaviours will only continue too, as smartphone and tablet adoption increases and consumers become more comfortable purchasing via these devices.

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