Mobile phones and tablets are becoming omnipresent - they are everywhere and are today's best companions for the young and old alike. Poised to become the defacto personal device for every person especially in the developed regions, these gadgets are replacing TV sets, radios, traditional PCs, traditional gaming devices, health monitoring devices, remote controls, wallets and thousands of other household and workplace devices/applications to become the all-in-1 super smart 21st century gadgets. Given the widespread use of these devices today, merchants and businesses are moving their brick-and-mortar presence to 'click-and-mortar' as mobile phones and tablets become the most favourited devices for people to browse, book, buy and pay for a wide range of merchandise and services, including those bought in-store.
According to Juniper Research in its recent report, Mobile Commerce Markets: Key Sector Strategies, Opportunities & Forecasts 2014-2019, mobile phone and tablet users will make 195 billion mobile commerce transactions annually by 2019, up from 72 billion this year. Juniper Research said that the highest growth rates will be in the NFC sector, fueled by the launch of Apple Pay and other similar deployments including the HCE (Host Card Emulation) technology by banks. Juniper said that the highest increase in transaction volumes are expected to occur in the digital goods sector on the back of increases in micropayments for in-app purchases especially on gaming applications.
Juniper also highlighted the 'pent-up demand' for mobile ticketing (mTicketing), another payment facilititation used in the transportation sector, based on the rapid adoption rates immediately post-launch for a number of recent mTicketing deployments - citing examples such as the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)'s mTicket service which accounted for 15% of ticket sales within 9 months of launch and New York Waterways whose mTicketing service made up 25% of ticket sales in less than 2 years.
The increasing use of mobile phones and tablets for mcommerce points to increased opportunities for Operators across their digital services including mobile payment and mobile wallet services, digital content offers including games and on-demand videos as well as enhanced revenues from direct operator billing services. Operators are also very well positioned to offer mobile advertisement services - pushing video and other rich ads, leveraging on what Juniper Research terms as "media-stacking" (ie where users make purchases on their devices while watching TV).