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The Future of mPayments in Europe

  • November 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 57 pages


Table of Contents

Cloud-based mPayments are Creating Immediate Business Opportunities for mPayment Service Providers

The value of transactions over mobile devices is predicted to grow exponentially over the next five years in Europe. The proliferation of tablets and smartphones are blurring the difference between the traditional online commerce and the mobile commerce markets. In-depth interviews with mobile network operators, card networks, financial institutions, software vendors, and smart card vendors were conducted, aggregated results of the primary research were analysed. This research service includes an analysis of the market and technology trends as well as forecast of the value of transactions over mobile devices in Europe for the 2012–2017 period.

Executive Summary

• Market participants in the payment and mobile industries have prepared service offerings to capture the rapid growth of the mobile payments (mPayments) market. This, in turn, has led to a considerable fragmentation of the market in terms of the number of technologies, service providers, and business models.
• One of the key questions market participants have raised is whether the rise of cloud-based mPayments services will play down the role of near-field-communication-based (NFC-based) ones.
• Cloud-based mPayments will offer immediate opportunities for payment service providers. However, NFC-based mPayment services will play a prominent role in in-store mPayments in the long term.
• Brick-and-mortar retailers will, however, also experiment with alternative technologies to establish closed-loop payment systems.
• The discussion on the best technology for mPayment service will lose importance in the long term as ICT vendors and mPayment service providers consolidate technology-agnostic offerings.
• From a quantitative standpoint, the value of transactions through mobile devices will grow at high double-digit rates throughout the forecast period. Cloud-based mPayment transactions through tablets will command the expansion of mPayments.
• From a regional standpoint, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France will represent the three largest mPayment markets in Europe.

Research Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

• To provide a market analysis on the latest trends of the mobile payments market in Europe.
• To provide a market forecast of the cloud-based and NFC-based value of transactions through mobile devices.

Ecosystem Scope
Financial Institutions
ICT Vendors
Mobile Network Operators
Online Service Providers

Geographic Scope
• Europe

Research Methodology
Primary Research
• Interviews with key stakeholders of the European mobile financial services market
Secondary Research
• Frost & Sullivan research service, online database, market participants’ reports, industry study groups.


Mobile Payment (mPayment) is any payment transaction, whereby an end user initiates, executes, and confirms the payment through a mobile device. In this market insight, mobile device refers to a feature phone, smartphone or a tablet computer.
• Market participants classify mPayments based on the end user’s location, the underlying technology, the value of the transaction (micropayments or regular payments), among other variables.
• mPayments can be Near Field Communications-(NFC), cloud-, SMS-, unstructured supplementary service data- (USSD), and quick response (QR) code- based. The analysis in this market insight focuses on NFC-based and cloud-based mPayments.

NFC-based mPayments are proximity payments (i.e., mobile contactless payments). In brief, end users require NFC-enabled mobile device, and merchants require a contactless POS terminal, from a technical perspective.

Cloud-based mPayments are Internet-based mPayments. Concisely, end users need an Internet connection, and merchants need a software upgrade in their terminal, or billing system.
• mPayments can also be catalogued as remote or in-store, from the end users’ location standpoint. As the name suggests, in-store payments take place in the merchant’s premises. Remote payments occur outdoors, on the go, at home, or at work.
• Peer-to-peer (P2P) mPayments tend to be catalogued as remote payments. In this market insight, however, P2P mPayments are considered as a separate category of in-store and remote payments.
• In closed-loop payment systems the end user can pay at a single or selected group of retailers. In contrast, in open-loop payment systems the end user can pay at any retailers. Both the business model and underlying technology determine whether a system is open loop or closed loop.
• Mobile Wallet (mWallet) is an interface that enables end users to manage a set of applications which typically include mPayments, loyalty and couponing programs, (public transport and event) ticketing, among others.
• An active payment user is a consumer who uses a payment service at least once every three months. Moreover, a casual payment user is a consumer who uses a payment service at least once every twelve months.

mPayment Service Providers

• For the purpose of this market insight, mPayment service providers have been categorized into four main groups: financial institutions (FIs), mobile network operators (MNOs), online payment service providers (OPSPs) and retailers.
• Each group has a tendency to support a certain technology, or a payment system type.

FIs typically support open-loop mPayments systems, and NFC as the underlying technology. However, some forward-thinking banks have developed cloud-based mPayments for closed-loop systems.

MNOs promote NFC-based mPayments for open- and closed-loop systems. Within NFC-based mPayments, MNOs endorse the use of SIM cards as secure elements (SE).

OPSPs naturally champion cloud-based mPayments for open-loop systems and closed-loop payment systems.

When promoting their own mPayment services, retailers tend to support cloud-based, closed-loop payment systems. However, retailers have also shown some interest in multiple technologies, including cloud and NFC, for open-loop systems.

Type of Transactions Through Mobile Devices

• In this market insight, mPayment transactions have been classified into three categories: NFC-based transactions, cloud-based transactions through smartphones, and cloud-based transactions through tablets.
• Consumer research indicates that tablet users’ online purchase patterns differ considerably from that of smartphone users. Hence, The need to separate cloud-based transactions into two different categories, namely through smartphones and through tablets.

Proximity payments primarily carried out through smartphones in in-store environments

Cloud-based Through Smartphones
Online payments carried out through smartphones remotely or in-store environments

Cloud-based Through Tablets
Online payments carried out through tablets remotely or in-store environments

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