The world over is already familiar with smartphone zombies. It is quite rare now to see someone not on their smartphone or their gadgets. People do almost everything on their gadgets. From keeping in touch with friends via social media, online shopping, streaming videos or movies, listening to music to mobile gaming, the smartphone has become a necessity. And one of the activities people use mobile phones for is mobile payment.
Now that we have entered the IOT era (Internet of things), many businesses, financial institutions, and software solutions collaborate to offer consumers seamless and secure transactions. The creation of digital wallets greatly contributed to the growth of the mobile payment industry. Then, financial institutions made it more convenient for users to monitor and manage their accounts and spending by making their accounts accessible online.
People buy everything and anything using their mobile. From clothes to food to services and even at a pay by phone casino, technology has made it easy to buy and pay for goods and services online. But these are not the only products paid for online. With the emergence of mobile games and availability of digital content, mobile payment surged dramatically. So online stores like Google Play and Apple iTunes hopped to it to offer a wide variety of mobile games. Digital media content from chat apps also drive the increase in profit of the industry with users buying stickers and games that they use alongside the apps.
According to Statista, the number of mobile phone users paying for things via mobile has grown. Since 2009, the numbers have steadily increased over time. It is surprising to note that Africa has the second highest number of mobile payment users from 2009 to 2016. From 16 million users, the number ballooned to 101 million users in 7 years. Asia has the highest number of users during the same period. From 42 million users, it jumped to 163 million users. North America has around 90 million while an estimated 64 million users are in Europe. South America and the Middle East complete the list with 22 million and 6 million users respectively.
With these numbers it is no wonder that the mobile payment industry is already a billion-dollar (USD) industry. If the trend continues, this will continue to grow and break the trillion-dollar (USD) mark, according to Statista. And this number only reflects the US market.
With the onset of connected devices, it is only a matter of time when physical cash transactions and cash itself would be a thing of the past.