Mobile Transactions Around The World

Mobile transaction trends are tricky to track, particularly on a global scale. Generally, we know that the rate of mobile adoption is increasing all over the world, but mobile as a way to make payments instead of a card in a physical store is still in its infancy.

Mobile as a driver of e-commerce is growing as well, as tablets and phones make access to the Internet convenient for everyone and available for many for whom PCs were not either affordable or accessible. In fact, for the mobile device is not only a catalyst for economic growth across emerging countries with otherwise limited payment options, it is a financial lifeline for many whose access to financial services was simply non-existent.

So, as we prepare for the year ahead – one that many believe will only accelerate the adoption of mobile payments of all varieties, we thought we’d break down the mobile payments trends and figures by region, worldwide.

Global Mobile Transactions By The Numbers

Digging even further into more specific areas of those regions, here’s a breakdown of the number of mobile payment users over the past four years and what projections for this year and the next couple look like in five regions:


What these stats say: Europe has experienced nearly double the number of mobile payment users between 2009 and 2010. That number continued to grow by nearly 8 million users in 2011 and has hit and will continue to hit a steady growth of nearly 9 million a year.


What these stats say: North America mobile payment users grew more than three times between 2009 and 2012. Growth from 2010 and 2011 great by more than 10 million and growth volume has continued at an even stronger rate since. Growth between 2011 and what’s projected in 2014 is a difference of nearly 40 million users. That’s anticipated to grow by more than 30 million by 2016.


What these stats say: The Asia/Pacific region dominates mobile payments. Growth has remained steady from 2009-2013 by roughly 15 million more users per year. Projected growth between 2014-2016 is to have around 20 million more users a year.


What these stats say: Not surprisingly, the Middle East lags in mobile payment users. But adoption is still growing. It doesn’t seem like much now, but the growth rate from 2009 to the projected number of users in 2016 is 5.8 million. The largest projected growth rate is between 2015-2016, when users are supposed to grow by 1.3 million. That’s roughly double all the mobile payment users for 2009 and 2010 combined.


What these stats say: Africa has caught onto the importance of mobile payments in the country. With more mobile payment options being introduced to emerging regions every year, Africa could be on course for big mobile payment growth. The number of users between 2009-2010 doubled. Figures continued to raise about 12 million users a year, which is consistent with the projected numbers through 2016.


What these stats say: Like the Middle East, Latin America is slow at adopting mobile payments, but growth rate is expected to grow at a much quicker rate in this region. The difference between users in 2013 and projected users in 2016 is nearly 12 million. The region has grown a couple million users each year and is anticipated to start growing at closer to 4 million a year by 2016.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.