Gartner has released a new report naming the Asia-Pacific region as the leading market for mobile payment adoption, with the number of users in the region predicted to increase by 50% from 41.8 million last year to 62.8 million by the end of 2010, according to ZDNet Asia.
Gartner also expects the number mobile payment users worldwide to jump from 70.2 million 108.6 million over the same time period, representing a 54% increase.
Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, explained that mobile payment has particular appeal for “unbanked” and “underbanked” populations who are without easy access to computers, making mobile the most accessible payment platform by default. As for the more developed markets, Gartner reports that adoption there has been slower to catch on due to a greater amount of payment options.
To tap these markets, Shen says that service providers need to integrate mobile payment into existing infrastructures, letting customers choose which payment method they want to use.
Shen added that service providers have played a pivotal role in the region’s mobile payment boom, offering users the payment functions they want, while at the same time creating the right ecosystem and infrastructure to sustain and satisfy demand.
Gartner’s figures show that short message service (SMS) is the dominant mobile payment technology in the region, but the research firm is urging financial institutions not to overlook NFC as a viable future alternative.
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