The use of mobile phones has grown immensely, with over 4.1 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide in 2009, according to a recently released UN report. This is a major contrast to 2005 when there were only 2.1 billion subscribers. This rapid growth was due to deeper penetration in the more advanced economies while there has been terrific growth in Africa and Asia. These billions of individuals represent potential makers of mobile payments.
Globally there has been a gradual transition from, paying with cash, to paying with a credit/debit card, to payment with a mobile phone. This change has led to the increase in the number of m-payment users globally, amounting to a total of 73.4 million mobile payment users worldwide at the start of 2009, up 70.4% from 2008. “We predict that the number of mobile payment users will reach more than 190 million in 2012, representing more than 3% of total mobile users worldwide and attaining a level at which it will be considered mainstream” (Gartner, 2009).
This report examines four countries - Japan, South Korea, Slovenia and the UK, that have been involved in implementing an m-payment platform.