With mobile phone payments becoming ever simpler and more reliable, Juniper Research analysts forecast that the total value of mobile payments will reach $670 billion by 2016, up from $240 billion this year. Those figures include digital and physical goods, money transfers and near field communications transfers.

All segments of this market will grow by double or even triple over the coming five years, according to Juniper’s new report Mobile Payment Strategies, and it will be driven by all kinds of everyday transactions. The report singles out mobile ticketing and NFC contactless payments for particular growth, which combined with money transfers and the purchase of physical goods will affect both developed and developing countries.

About 20 countries are expected to launch NFC services during the next 18 months, the report said, resulting in transactions of nearly $50 billion worldwide by 2014.  The increasingly mainstream nature of NFC payments is what led the NFC Forum to develop the N-Mark trademark (pictured) as a universal symbol for NFC, so that consumers can easily identify where their NFC-enabled devices can be used.

It is also interesting to note the effect of mobile financial transactions in countries that lack access to banks or more sophisticated financial support, a factor that Jupiter said will result in the number of active mobile money users doubling by 2013.

Even so, the top three regions for mobile payments – Far East and China, West Europe, and North America – will represent 75 percent of the global mobile payment gross transaction value by 2015.

David Snow, Juniper senior analyst, explained: “Our analysis shows that emerging segments such as physical goods payments, NFC and money transfers will fuel market growth by a factor of 2.7 times by 2015. Digital goods is the largest segment and, although forecast to more than double, it is not growing as quickly as some of the newer segments”

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