Billed as the future of banking, the value of financial transactions carried out through mobile phones has been pegged at $245 billion worldwide by 2014 in a new report by global consultancy firm Ernst & Young.
"Overall, mobile payment services are expected to reach $245 billion in value worldwide by 2014," according to the report by Ernst and Young.
At the same time, the number of users carrying out transactions using mobile money is expected to total 340 million by 2014, equivalent to 5 per cent of existing mobile subscribers across the globe, the report said.
There were 81.3 million people worldwide that used their mobile devices to make payments in 2009 and the value of m-payments stood at $69 billion during the period, according to an estimate.
The mobile payments market has gained traction in recent years, because of factors such as higher penetration of handsets in comparison to coverage of population with banking services and benign regulatory environments.
"The acceleration of mobile remittance services alongside new mobile payment scenarios highlights the range of opportunities for the mobile phone to redefine the movement of money by lowering costs, increasing convenience and reducing fraud," the report said.
The increasing use of the mobile payment concept by consumers across the globe, especially in heavily populous countries in the Asia-Pacific region, may inflate the market for mobile payments in the coming years.
The report said that mobile money is being seen as the key for many operators in Asia to provide value-added services to customers and operators in emerging markets, such as the Philippines and Bangladesh, as well as a catalyst for bringing banking services to the large unbanked population of these countries.
It further said that operators in developed markets are targeting e-wallets at smartphone users.
In terms of the mobile payment technologies being used, SMS mobile payments are the most prevalent worldwide mobile, while Near Field Communications and Internet transactions over mobiles are among the other fast-growing technologies.
Earlier, a KPMG survey indicated that most executives worldwide believe the use of cellphones for financial transactions will gain widespread acceptance within four years.