The increasing use of mobile devices as an alternative to credit cards and paper tickets is one of the fastest growing segments of the mobile commerce market, that turns out to be a good opportunity especially for SMBs that wish to sell or develop goods over the fast growing mobile platform.

Juniper Research’s recent Mobile Commerce Markets report shows that the rapid adoption of mobile devices for commerce-related applications is by no means limited to NFC. The firm predicts that actually all segments – money transfers, banking, payments and coupons – will unveil significant growth rates.

"Money transfer, physical goods, NFC and coupons will more than treble in transaction value over the next three years, whilst digital goods, banking and tickets will still, on average, double over the same period," says report author David Snow.

The Juniper report, however, stressed that even if there is a perceived, if not actual, security risk in the mind of users, not only the specific mobile commerce application, but also the whole mobile commerce market may be set back until user trust is recovered.

A Sybase 365 survey, that aimed at uncovering growth projections within the mobile commerce market, comes exactly to the same conclusion. With its second annual Sybase Mobile Commerce Guide 2012, Sybase 365 engaged in the same topics, such as trends like the adoption of Near Field Communications (NFC) or concerns that lacking industry collaboration would hinder the widespread deployment and adoption of mobile payments.

According to Sybase’s survey, 81% of respondents believe that NFC will not become a driver of widespread adoption of mobile payments for at least another two to five years. And just less than 10% think NFC mobile payments will become main stream within the next year.

Another key finding from this year’s survey highlighted consumer perception of mobile payment security and how it will inhibit the growth of mobile payments. 38% of survey respondents believe that consumer concern over security of personal financial information exchanged during mobile transactions will be the leading obstacle to large-scale adoption of mobile payments.

“Mobile payments are arguably the leading topic of discussion in the mobile commerce ecosystem,” said John Sims, President, Sybase 365. “With our extensive global experience in innovative mobile commerce deployments, Sybase 365 has been defining consumer best practices and fostering acceptance of all mobile payment channels. As the ecosystem further develops and matures, we will continue to enable collaboration and communication between mobile operators, financial institutions, and enterprises to drive mass-market adoption of mobile payments.”

Equally important to facilitating the widespread adoption of mobile payments is the need for coordination among key mobile commerce stakeholders and the development of mobile payment standards. These two concerns were cited by 38% of global survey respondents.

This finding echoes the sentiment from the 2011 Sybase 365 Mobile World Congress survey, which found that nearly 50% of survey respondents believe that industry standards and coordination would be responsible for driving mobile payments globally.

According to 26% of the survey respondents, mobile operators will be important catalysts driving global widespread adoption of mobile payments, while 24% believe that banks will be a leading driver, and another 19% believe that companies like Amazon, PayPal or Groupon will encourage great adoption. NFC technology will help facilitate the future growth of mobile payments, but successful and more established methods such as remote mobile payments are driving deployments and adoption within the ecosystem in both the emerging markets and developed world.

“Material advances for mobile payments will only come about when banks, operators and retailers can converge on a business model, and with it true industry interoperability, leading to a widely embraced mobile payments system,” added Sims.

This means that although SMS is still the key to widespread mobile banking service adoption, mobile money transfer services will struggle to gain a critical mass of users without interoperability.

Sybase 365 is recognized in leading and shaping the future of mobile commerce, and received to no surprise the Mobile Payments Award in Juniper Research’s Future Mobile Awards 2012 for Mobile Commerce, besides getting high commendations for its Mobile Money Transfer and Mobile Banking services.

By Daniela La Marca