Market research firm Juniper Research today released a report predicting that contactless mobile phone payments in particular will see a big surge in the coming years. The report estimates that over $9.9 billion in contactless mobile phone transactions will seen in 2018, up significantly from the estimated $3 billion that will be spent using that method during 2014.
The Juniper report also pinpoints host card emulation (HCE) and Apple's iWallet will be the tech that drives the industry in the short term. The firm believes that HCE's convenient implementation for developers will be able to cut mobile providers out of the loop and provide customers with better payment experiences much faster.
“With the emergence of HCE, the operator role at the heart of the NFC value chain is no longer sacrosanct," said Windsor Holden, author of the report and a research director at Juniper. "Banks can now go it alone and as a result the scale of the operator opportunity is significantly diminished.”
iWallet, of course, will gain popularity in mature markets simply based on the large chunk of the high-end smartphone market that Apple controls. Juniper expects iWallet to debut during the fourth quarter of this year.