U.S. Mobile Payment Market Forecast Looks Bright, According to Research Firm

mobile payment

Cash may no longer be king by the time 2019 rolls around.

It was only a few years ago that the idea of paying for items at the checkout counter with your phones seemed like something straight out of a science fiction movie, or a technology pipe dream. However, according to point-of-sale industry experts, that dream is now a reality — and one that’s expected to grow.

According to a report from the research firm Forrester, mobile-based payments in the United States are expected to reach a whopping $142 billion in volume in 2019, compared to $50 billion currently. In the study, which is scheduled to be released early this week, Forrester spoke to 12 major payment industry companies, including giants such PayPal, Verifone, and Visa. All indicated that the shift towards mobile commerce was quickly increasing among both consumers and retailers.

Companies such as Google, PayPal and AT&T have tried for several years to create their own versions of a mobile wallet; however, they haven’t gained much traction until recently. Forrester believes this is because the market has continued to evolve and mature over the last five years, and expects the same for the next five years, allowing mobile payments to become mainstream.

“Thanks to Apple’s ease of use for consumers and negotiating power with banks and retailers, Apple Pay will finally make the mobile wallet a mainstream reality,” says Eric Catania, CEO, Digital Reality. “Modern POS systems such as LightSpeed already integrate with Apple Pay, and this brings big-box technology to small and medium businesses.”

“It’s not just that we have smartphones. It’s that we’re increasingly dependent or rely on or expect them to deliver more,” said Denée Carrington, a Forrester analyst.

The firm believes that Apple Pay, the first major mobile payment method from the tech-giant Apple, will accelerate the growth and popularity of other in-person mobile payment methods used at the register.

The New York Times recently reported that some retailers have already experienced sharp increases in mobile payment activity, much of which can be attributed to Apple Pay. However, Forrester predicts that the largest area of growth over the next five years won’t be at the register. Rather, remote mobile payments — purchases made via mobile websites and apps — will top $91 billion in volume in the United States by 2019.

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