HAMPSHIRE, United Kingdom — More than 2 billion mobile phone or tablet users will make some form of mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017, up from 1.6 billion this year, according to a new study.

The report from Juniper Research found mobile consumption of services such as banking, money transfers, and purchases of goods and services was "surging" as consumers were either migrating from desktop usage or becoming first-time e-commerce users through their smartphones or tablets.

The company stressed the opportunity for mobile to offer consumers in emerging markets first-time financial inclusivity through the provision of mobile wallets, enabling services beyond payments such as savings and micro-insurance.

In a number of developed markets, mobile devices are expected to account for more than half of online transactions within five years.

The report, "Mobile Commerce Markets: Key Sector Strategies, Opportunities & Forecasts 2014-2019," observed that while contactless payments had yet to gain traction outside Japan and South Korea, Apple Pay was expected to provide NFC with "real momentum."

Social Network Commerce Opportunity

Juniper Research said there is potential for social networks to accelerate mobile commerce adoption. According to the report's author, Dr. Windsor Holden, "Brands and retailers should certainly seek to integrate their offerings with players such as Facebook and FourSquare. Integration offers reach, allied to the potential to target specific user demographics."

The report recommended the integration of operator billing capabilities with websites to monetize digital content amongst a wider user base.

Consumer concerns about transaction security remain the primary inhibitor on service adoption, Juniper Research said. Growth in the number of mobile digital content purchasers in developing markets is relatively low, but the value of customers is "increasing markedly" as they transition from ringtone purchase to rich media content typically monetized through in-app purchase.

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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