How Big A Market Will Mobile Be By 2018? Depends On Your Definition

Mobile payments may hit $5.4 billion by 2018, according to research just published from Javelin Strategy and Research. Interestingly, the report said that mobile is expected to deliver the highest compound annual growth rate in the next five years, compared with other payment types. The report looked at several payment players, but focused on Square, GoPayment and PayAnywhere, vendors that are primarily focused on small retailers. One of the many problems with calculating mobile payments is that the industry has yet to agree on what a mobile payment is. Is it an NFC payment through something like Google Wallet? When a PayPal customer in Home Depot types in their phone number and PIN (no mobile device in sight), is that a mobile payment? What about when someone uses a Starbucks card, but uses a picture of their card's barcode in the phone? We've even seen a researcher who tried to squeeze in mobile phone phone calls to Pizza Hut, on the rationale that the transaction was made through a phone. Numbers are nice, but knowing exactly what they represent is a lot better. Story