Report: Global digital payments to reach $3.6 trillion in 2016

 In News

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach $3.6 trillion this year, up from $3 trillion on 2015, resulting in a 20 percent increase.

The new research argued that the recent surge in contactless payments would continue, fuelled by further scaling up of infrastructure rollout and increased card payment limits in key markets, according to a press release about the report.

Juniper also anticipates that while cards will account for 90 percent of contactless payments over the next five years, the deployment of NFC payments by high-profile players such as Apple and Samsung would increase consumer awareness and usage of smartphones to fulfill transactions.

Social media impact

Juniper’s research also highlighted the growing presence of social media companies in digital commerce. It pointed out that several leading companies, including Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, had already introduced ‘buy’ buttons, enabling users to make purchases directly from the companies’ mobile apps.

The research argued that digital e-commerce on social media activity would increasingly extend into the P2P payments space. It cited the example of WeChat in China, which saw more than 32 billion ‘red envelope’ monetary gifts sent in a six-day period in February, and claimed that other dominant players could also leverage their ubiquity.

“Facebook has already rolled out a P2P service linked to its Messenger service in the U.S., and we would expect additional deployments in other core markets over the next year or so,” Dr. Windsor Holden, the report’s author, said in a statement.

Mobile wallets

The research also forecast that mobile wallet adoption would continue to accelerate in developing markets, with nearly 20 countries across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa now having more mobile money accounts than bank accounts. It emphasized that as wallet users reached a critical mass in these markets, service providers were introducing more sophisticated payment services such as loans and micro-insurance, thereby hastening the drive towards financial inclusivity for the unbanked.

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