Nearly 2.1 billion consumers worldwide will use a mobile wallet to make a payment or send money in 2019, up by nearly 30 per cent on the 1.6 billion recorded at the end of 2017.

That’s according to a new study from Juniper Research.

The study claimed that while contactless card payments were far more prevalent than NFC mobile payments in many markets, leading wallets were seeking to redress the balance by enabling both online and offline options. Meanwhile, a number of wallets, including Orange in France, have augmented payments offerings with banking services in a bid to deliver a holistic financial portfolio for consumers.

The report, Mobile Wallets: Service Provider Analysis, Market Opportunities & Forecasts 2018-2022, also assessed the capabilities of, and prospects for, nearly 20 leading mobile wallets. It concluded that PayPal, which has begun offering contactless payments instore in the US, had the greatest opportunities to develop a converged wallet on a worldwide basis, closely followed by China’s Alipay.

Leading global mobile wallet providers, according to Juniper Leaderboard, 2018 are:

  1. PayPal
  2. Alipay
  3. Weixin Pay/WeChat Pay

The report also argued that while QR code-based instore payments had seen quite astonishing levels of adoption in China, successful use cases in Europe and North America were likely to be limited to ‘closed loop’ wallets such as those deployed by Starbucks and WalMart.

According to the research, the greater security offered by NFC-based wallets, which include tokenised credentials and, increasingly, biometric authentication, make them more attractive to both consumers and merchants.

Research author Dr Windsor Holden said, “QR code based payments are likely to have significant growth in markets such as India and sub-Saharan Africa, due to the negligible implementation costs. However, their greater susceptibility to alteration to include viruses and phishing scams is likely to act as a major deterrent elsewhere”.

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