Mobile proximity payments, made at a physical point of sale with a consumer’s mobile device, are still in their youth, accounting for just 1 percent of all retail transactions. But already, researchers are declaring a clear winner in the industry: Apple.
According to new research from Javelin Strategy & Research, the mobile proximity payment industry stands to be worth $54 billion by 2019, according to the firm’s Mobile Proximity Payments Forecast 2015. So far, iPhone users are dominating the space, with nearly one in six iPhone users making a mobile proximity payment within 30 days. That figure, reports said, is nearly double the rate for Android users. Plus, iPhone users are spending more, making an average purchase of $20 compared with $15 for Android-wielding spenders.
Still, all members of the competition stand to gain from the growing industry. “Power has shifted to the consumers with smartphones, and vendors must adapt and respond in new ways,” said Javelin Strategy & Research Mobile Research Specialist Daniel Van Dyke. “The merchant’s own app can be used to offset competitors’ shopping apps, by using targeted rewards, discounts, and loyalty points."
In other words, with smartphone makers already in the running to nab a piece of the action, it’s time for retailers to jump on the mobile proximity payment train.
Retailers have been caught in the smartphone battle as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, CurrentC and Samsung Pay are all scrambling to secure exclusive deals with stores to accept their payment technologies – though, notably, some are further along than others. While Home Depot recently revealed that it would like to become the largest retailer so far to accept Apple Pay store-wide, CurrentC and Samsung Pay have yet to release their services.