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Mobile Payments, Debit Usage on the Rise

The World Payments Report 2012 examines the latest developments in the global payments landscape, including payments volume trends, payment instruments and key regulatory initiatives.

The continued rising popularity of debit cards as well as mobile and e-payments were among the major themes of the 2012 World Payments Report, conducted jointly by Capgemini, Royal Bank of Scotland and not-for-profit organization Efma.

As more consumers embrace electronic, mobile and debit card payments, industry innovation will continue to focus heavily on these payment methods, the report concluded. According to the report, there were an estimated 28.3 billion electronic and mobile payment transactions globally in 2011, and in 2010 more than one in three non-cash payments globally was made using a debit card, up 15.2 percent.

[See Also: Mobile Payments: Can Banks Seize the Moment to Transform Consumer Finance?]

However, only 2.1 percent of all mobile users reported making m-payments, the research found, meaning the potential for additional growth is still large, with mobile payments volume set to reach 17 billion globally by 2013 and e-payments 31.4 billion by 2013.

"Convenience is the key word," Simon Newstead, Head of FI Market and Business Strategy for RBS, told Bank Systems & Technology. "It has been more secure and easy to make these type of payments. The smartphone has been the technology enabler of this."

In addition to its exploding growth in the consumer market, Newstead said there is also an increasing appetite for mobile payments in the corporate space. "We're seeing that the corporate customer has a great interest in iPad applications that allow them to perform treasury functions on the move," he said. "There's a very real demand, and it's being heavily influenced by what these same corporate customers are doing in their personal banking.This market is a little more in its infancy, but there is a real demand."

Security concerns, once considered a hindrance to widespread mobile payment adoption, have also lessened in recent years, added Jean Lassignardie, Corporate Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Capgemini Global Financial Services.

"Security of course remains a critical question, but I do not have the impression from looking at the numbers that it inhibits adoption," he said. "The pace of growth is unbelievable."

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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