M-commerce market will be worth $3.2 trillion by 2017

Hurdles must be overcome for market to reach full potential

The value of commercial transactions conducted via mobile handsets and tablets will exceed $3.2 trillion by 2017, new research reveals. That’s up from $1.5 trillion in 2013.

But to put these global m-commerce figures into context, the total financial transactions in the US alone exceeded $4,400 trillion in 2012.

According to a new report from Juniper Research, certain industries, including retail, airline and financial institutions in particular, see the importance of the mobile channel as an engagement, delivery and payment mechanism.

In addition, the report noted that the introduction of mobile wallet services was providing first-time financial access in many emerging markets where the proportion of unbanked adults exceeded 50%.

A number of hurdles must be overcome if m-commerce is to achieve its potential in the coming years, however. Report author Dr Windsor Holden said: “A significant minority of retailers have yet to optimise their sites for mobile. Unless retailers ensure a seamless, user-friendly mobile shopping experience, they will fall behind competitors who are already using mobile channels to enhance customer relationships.”

The report also pointed out that lengthy point-of-sale infrastructure replacement life cycles were hampering the deployment of near-field communication in both the retail and transport sectors, with players understandably reluctant to upgrade infrastructure without a demonstrable return on investment.

About the author

Sally Percy is editor of The Treasurer

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