Analyzing the Mobile Payments Analysts

So what about this Mobile Payments market? Are you completely on board with the hype, or do you subscribe to the “solution without a problem” view? Obviously we’re very interested in it here at VeriFone and all professional interests aside, I think it’s inevitable. Maybe it won’t happen as flip-switch quickly as we’d like, but just as e-commerce has become a common activity from our home computers, as we move more towards mobile computing, so too I believe, will we naturally shift to using mobile payments more frequently.

As someone who watches the Tweets roll in, seemingly by the second, forecasting and extolling the mobile payments markets, I’m always interested in seeing just how close the actual numbers come to the predictions. With 2012 now closed out and the numbers being tallied as we speak, I thought it would be interesting to look back and see who got it right.

According to Yankee Group, we spent (globally) $161 billion3 in 2010 and Portio Research says we spent $159.3 billion4 globally in 2011. Though the totals show a slight decrease year-over-year, they aren’t too far off and even different analysts tend to agree that mobile payment growth hasn’t yet reached its potential.

As of today, I have yet to see published worldwide numbers for mobile payments in 2012, but Forrester Research very recently released a report saying that in the U.S. alone, we spent $12.84 billion using our mobile devices.8 They are also predicting that U.S. spending by 2017 will reach $90 billion. But let’s look at the global predictions from 2011 into the future because that’s where the numbers get really impressive:

2011: Total spend was somewhere in the neighborhood of $160 billion globally based on the above-mentioned data by Portio Research.

2012: Gartner is the only Analyst firm that came up in my research as having offered any kind of prediction for the global market in 2012. And note that their estimate was significantly adjusted for 2012 based on their (as it turns out) very conservative 2011 prediction ($86.1 billion).

  • Gartner Research predicted – $171.5 billion1

2013: No Data. Interesting that nobody has gone on record with a prediction for 2013. Maybe it has something to do with not knowing what Apple’s plans are.


  • Yankee Group predicts – $941 billion5


  • Juniper predicts – $670 billion2
  • Yankee Group predicts – $1 trillion plus5


  • Gartner predicts – $617 billion1
  • Portio Research – $1 trillion4


  • IDC predicts – $1 trillion7

If you prefer graphs, here’s what the charts show from a growth perspective if you average the predictions together:

It’s almost impossible to derive a winner at this point—there just isn’t enough data. When worldwide spending numbers come out for 2012, we will get a better idea about the overall growth trend. Regardless of who came closest, I think the predictions bode well for the mobile payment market and mcommerce in general.

Kudos go out to those who are putting their predictions out there for future scrutiny though.


About Chris Souther

Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager After spending four years in the U.S. Air Force as a telecommunications technician, Chris shifted gears and started focusing on a career in Marketing & Communications, where he has been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best known brands. Chris currently manages Analyst Relations and Content & Social Media marketing here at VeriFone. If you communicate with us over Facebook, Twitter, Google + or Linkedin (or Pinterest, or Instagram etc.), you’re probably talking to Chris.


  1. I definitely agree that mobile payments are the way of the future. How are mobile payments tracked? Who tallies these payments? It seems like it would be very difficult to come up with a total.

    • Mary, I don’t know the mechanism in which these things are tracked. Likely, each Analyst firm collected data from a number of sources, including published reports and their own research, to come up with the final tally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *