New data from U.K.-based Juniper Research released last week showed that mobile wallet functionality will double over the next four years, with one in five phones expected to have mobile wallet capabilities by 2018.
According to the data, growth will be driven by two distinct models—stored value accounts, which are similar to prepaid cards and have emerged in developing markets to allow financial access for the unbanked, and near field communication services.
Wallet launches across North America and parts of Europe are expected to increasingly offer contactless payment capabilities. The report said the launch of the Apple iWallet later this year will bolster growth in the sector—more than one in three mobile wallets and over 50 percent of wallets in developed markets are expected to feature contactless payment capabilities by 2018.
Additionally, the report said mobile wallets will be bolstered by person-to-person payment initiatives that have become increasingly popular.
“While P2P mobile payment services have struggled to gain traction in developed markets, financial institutions are keen to commit to them as they can serve as an attractive value-add to consumers in an increasingly cashless society,” report author Windsor Holden said.
Based in southern England in Hampshire County, Juniper Research provides analytical, consulting and research services to the communications sector.