The growth of mobile has now reached the point where it is inextricable from the larger digital economy. For 2013, mobile payments should be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the field.


With the number of mobile subscriptions fast approaching the human population in 2013, mobile is becoming a mainstream driver of business productivity and social interaction. The next generation of faster network speeds is making mobile broadband more available in order to further this growth and consumption of data. The Mobile Industry Predictions Survey from tech and strategy consulting firm Chetan Sharma asked app developers, startup entrepreneurs, and infrastructure, device and mobile operator industry players about the most notable relevant events that occurred last year or can be expected to arise in the year to come. Among these predictions, the biggest breakthrough for mobile is expected to be in payments.

Mobile payments are expected to be disrupted…

Nearly 35 percent of respondents believe that mobile payments will be a breakthrough category in 2013. Besides the expected impact of payments, 31 percent believe that cloud services be the biggest breakthrough in mobile this year. Nearly 30 percent support mobile commerce, 27 percent are for big data, and connected services have about 26 percent of the vote. Expanding the outlook from breakthroughs to newsworthy developments, most plan to follow the continued growth of global mobile data. Other hot topics are the continued competition between Google and Apple, as well as mobile devices’ (both tablets and smartphones) growing dominance in computing.

…And to be most likely dominated by financial corporations rather than tech companies

Industry leaders overwhelmingly expect financial companies such as VISA to dominate mobile payments in growing numbers; from 30 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in 2013. Nobody else came close in presence than that, but PayPal has 13 percent support for presence in 2013. There are many others that are expected to have a small presence in the new year for mobile payments: operators like Isis, startups, and Google. Amazon and Apple did not have any impact on this area in 2011, but entered the scene in 2012 and are both expected to grow this influence this year, though they only have 11 and 6 percent of support from those surveyed, respectively. 

By Ivory King