Middle East and Africa to account for 32 percent of mobile payments in 2011


The Middle East and Africa will account for 32 percent of
all mobile payment transactions in 2011, according to Gartner.


Global mobile payment users will surpass 141.1 million in
2011, a 38.2 percent increase from 2010, when mobile payment users reached
102.1 million. Mobile payment volume is forecast to total $86.1 billion, up
75.9 percent from 2010 volume of $48.9 billion.


Despite these strong growth projections, the mobile payment
market is growing slower than expected.


Money transfers and prepaid top-ups will drive
transaction volumes in developing markets. These are seen as the killer apps in
developing markets, where people value the convenience of sending money to
relatives and topping up mobile accounts. This is most obvious in Eastern
Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where these two services will account for
54 percent and 32 percent of all transactions in 2011.


In developing markets, despite favorable conditions for
mobile payment, growth is not as strong as was anticipated. Many service
providers are yet to adapt their strategies to local requirements, and success
models from Kenya and the Philippines are unlikely to be translated to other
markets,” said Sandy Shen, research director at


While developing markets have favorable conditions for
mobile payments, such as high penetration of mobile devices and low banking
penetration, this is no guarantee of success, unless service providers adapt
their strategies to local market requirements,” Shen added.


In developed markets, companies are trumpeting the
prospects of Near Field Communication (NFC) without realizing the complexity of
the service model. Mass market adoption of NFC payments is at least four years
away. The biggest hurdle is the need to change user behavior by convincing
consumers to pay with mobile phones instead of cash and cards.


Short Message Service (SMS) and Unstructured
Supplementary Service Data (USSD) will remain the dominant access technologies
in developing markets due to the constraints of mobile phones. Wireless
Application Protocol (WAP) will remain the preferred mobile access technology
in developed markets, where the mobile Internet is commonly available and
activated on the phone. Mobile app downloads and mobile commerce are the main
drivers of WAP payments, and WAP will account for almost 90 percent of all
mobile transactions in North America and about 70 percent in Western Europe in


By TelecomLead.com Team
[email protected]