In 2018, more than a third of smartphone users worldwide will use their mobile phone to pay for a purchase a physical point of sale (POS) at least once every six, eMarketer estimates.
The company analysed quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies, to learn the on-going trend of proximity payment - POS transactions made by using a mobile device as a payment method, including scanning, tapping, swiping or checking in with a mobile device at the POS to complete the transaction.
In tandem with the expansion of the “big three” international providers, Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and China's WeChat Pay and AliPay, estimation sees proximity payment one of the fastest-growing segment of mobile payments.
Figures expect that 13.2% of the global population will be proximity mobile payment users this year. By 2021, that proportion is expected to grow to 17.2%.
China is the world’s leader in proximity payments: the company projects that more than 61% of mobile payment users in 2018 will be based in the country.
“This year will be a turning point for in-store mobile payments, as it’s the first year the majority of new users will come from outside of China,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.
“China is still the only country with mainstream adoption, but now consumers and retailers in other parts of the world are starting to welcome the idea of using a phone to make a purchase. The specific services and technology may differ depending on the country, but it’s the same growing reliance on smartphones in everyday life that’s driving usage worldwide.”