Gartner forecasts that the number of mobile payment users will reach 103.9 million globally in 2011, up from 32.9 million in 2008.
Mobile payments are defined as payments for a product or service made using mobile technology, such as text messaging (SMS), wireless application protocol (WAP), unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) and near field communications (NFC).
So far, SMS is the dominant form of mobile payment and Gartner expects it to stay that way through 2011.
“Mobile payment could bring revenue opportunities for carriers and, potentially, banks if deployed properly,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.
“The business case is more obvious for mobile carriers than banks; however, banks can justify the investment if they look at mobile as an extension of their existing channels and bundle payments with additional banking services.”