It's no secret that mobile payments are growing by leaps and bounds. It's not hyperbole to say that mobile payments are the future of financial transactions, especially in the consumer-to-business marketplace. Is that future happening sooner than you might think? It looks that way - if a new report from Forrester Research and PayPal has it nailed. (For related reading, see Mobile Money: Using Your Cell Phone To Transfer Funds.)

TUTORIAL: Credit Cards

Change is Coming Sooner Than You Think
First, know that mobile payments are already widely viewed as being "mainstream." A July 2011 study from KPMG notes that 72% of business executives say that such payments, on a large scale, are inevitable. Another 58% say that their companies already have a mobile payment system in place.

"We believe that exploding smartphone growth and a myriad of opportunities will grow mobile payments at a much faster rate than our respondents anticipate," said Gary Matuszak, KPMG global chair of the Technology, Communication and Entertainment practice, in a statement. "A wide variety of payments is ready for adoption, as several key players already provide or are rolling out mobile payments, and interest among consumers in utilizing mobile payments is growing, in line with the industry's readiness to deploy them."

That could be happening faster than even the most optimistic mobile payment advocate could have hoped. Recent data from the U.K. arm of Forrester Research, in partnership with PayPal, estimates that mobile payments will replace other forms of payment by 2016.

No Wallet? Use Your Smartphone Instead!
A PayPal article, entitled No Wallet Required, examined the British mobile payment marketplace and concluded that "digital money" will become the go-to payment method within the next four years.

"We'll see a huge change over the next few years in the way we shop and pay for things," says Carl Scheible, Managing Director of PayPal U.K. "By 2016, you'll be able to leave your wallet at home and use your mobile as the 21st century digital wallet. Our vision of money is to enable you to pay for something from wherever you are, whatever device you're on – a PC, mobile phone, tablet, games console [sic] and a whole lot more." (For more, check out 8 Low-Cost Ways To Transfer Money.)

Scheible adds that paper currency won't go away entirely, but will face a diminishing demand. "The lines between the online world and high street will soon disappear altogether," he says. "Children born today will become the U.K.'s first 'cashless generation.' It will be completely natural for them to pay by mobile."

PayPal should know. It already processed about $3.5 billion in mobile payments in the U.K. in 2011 alone – that's five times the amount that the online payment giant saw in 2010.

The Bottom Line
The report says that the trend is only growing stronger with each passing year. About 50% of all mobile or smartphone device users bought something via mobile payments in the three months leading up to the publishing date of the study.

That number will grow, the data shows, and will cement mobile payments as the payment of record for consumers not just in the U.K. but also in the U.S.(To learn more about this technology, see New Technology: Pay Without Your Wallet.)

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    How an Internet Sales Tax Will Affect Your Small Business

    Learn about how the Marketplace Fairness Act may impact small business owners should it pass in the House and what the act requires from business owners.
  2. Savings

    Craft Beer Clubs – Bargain or Not?

    If you're an aficionado of artisanal brews (or would like to be), a beer club can be a palate-pleasing, albeit pricey, way to expand your hops horizon.
  3. Credit & Loans

    Walmart MoneyCard Vs. Walmart Credit Card

    Discover how the Walmart MoneyCard and the Walmart credit card have different benefits that may influence your decision on which one to choose.
  4. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  5. Savings

    These 10 Habits Will Help You Reach Financial Freedom

    Learn 10 key habits for achieving financial freedom, including smart budgeting, staying abreast of new tax deductions and the importance of proper maintenance.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Has Urban Outfitters Lost its Way? (URBN)

    Urban Outfitters just made a bold move. Will it pay off?
  7. Credit & Loans

    Have Bad Credit? 6 Ways to a Personal Loan Anyway

    It'll cost you more, but borrowing is definitely doable. Here's how to proceed.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Is Walmart's Rally Sustainable? (WMT)

    Walmart is enjoying a short-term rally. Is it sustainable? Is Amazon still a better bet?
  9. Savings

    Are Wine Clubs Worth It?

    Some points to consider, before committing to a membership for yourself – or as a gift. The right club can also help you save money over the holidays.
  10. Stock Analysis

    Kohl's: Should You Stock Up or Sell? (KSS)

    Many traders are bearish on Kohl's, but long-term investors might want to take a closer look for this simple reason.
  1. Is Apple Pay safe and free?

    Apple Pay is a mobile payment system created by Apple to reducing the number of times shoppers and buyers have to pay for ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can you use your Walmart credit card at Sam's Club?

    Consumers can use their Walmart credit cards to shop at Sam's Club. However, they cannot use their Walmart credit cards when ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can you cancel your Walmart credit card?

    Walmart offers two types of credit cards: the Walmart MasterCard and the Walmart credit card. How to Close Your Walmart Credit ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does the Walmart credit card have an annual fee?

    The Walmart credit card does not charge annual fees to its cardholders. It does, however, have other fees associated with ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do NetSpend cards work?

    NetSpend prepaid MasterCard and Visa cards are popular prepaid debit cards requiring no minimum balance and no credit check. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Where can you buy NetSpend reload packs?

    You can only purchase NetSpend reload packs at Giant Eagle, Albertsons, Roundy's and Pathmark supermarkets. NetSpend cards ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center