Research from Gartner says that this year will see more than $171.5 billion in mobile payment transactions — a rise of over 60 percent on 2011′s $105.9 billion — with 212.2 million people (up 32 percent from 160.5m in 2011) using some form of mobile payment service. And what’s fuelling the rise? Despite the rise of smartphones, it’s legacy-based services like SMS and web-based transactions.
Longer term, Gartner believes that transactions will reach a volume of $617 billion by 2016 — with average growth slightly slowing down to around 42 percent — with 448 million users using such services. SMS, Gartner research director Sandy Shen notes, remains the “dominant” access technology for making payments in developing markets.