A new report from Juniper Research has found that the annual number of purchases made on mobile handsets and tablets is expected to reach 53 billion by 2016, almost double the 27 billion made last year.

The report – Mobile Payment for Digital & Physical Goods: Opportunities & Forecast 2014-2018 – found that the majority of these purchases (around 80%) would be accounted for by digital content and mobile ticketing solutions. It argued that transaction volumes would receive a significant uplift as an increasing number of OTT (Over The Top) storefronts introduced direct carrier billing solutions to supplement credit/debit card payment facilities.

According to the report, storefronts that implement direct carrier billing can monetise younger demographics and unbanked users for the first time. It found that {{storefronts which had already introduced direct carrier billing had already seen a sharp rise in paying users}}, purchase frequency and average transaction value. The trend is particularly pronounced in developing markets: in Indonesia, carrier billing now accounts for 83% of all transactions.

Operators Fear Bill Shock Fall-out
However, the report observed that, despite the opportunity afforded by carrier billing, a number of network operators – particularly in Europe – remain wary of implementation. According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “These concerns revolve primarily around any fall-out from bill shock. Give the ease of purchase from carrier billing, consumers might argue that bills were run up inadvertently, or that their children had borrowed their handset and made the purchases. The fear is that customer services departments could be swamped.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • Retail spend via mobile handsets and tablets is expected to reach 700 billion USD by 2018, representing 30% of all eRetail by that time.
  • Given the increased transition to a multiscreen environment, Storefronts should ensure that their billing platform enables carrier billing via PCs and TVs

The whitepaper, Retail in the Palm of Your Hand is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.
Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.


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