Visa Europe boss: 50% of all payments mobile by 2020, Apple will show us the way

The chief executive of Visa Europe - who is looking at an autumn roll out for its digital wallet system - has predicted that half of all payments will be made through mobile devices by 2020.

Warning that companies must begin investing in next generation payment solutions or risk falling behind consumer demand for the new technology, the card firm's boss contended that businesses should start planning immediately and that the UK represented a key growth area for this particular industry.

"You have to get the infrastructure there, get the NFC terminals to the retails. There's a lot investment going into this with the UK leading the way," he said.

However, Mr Ayliffe simultaneously cautioned that it was important to focus on ensuring a few mobile payment models worked effectively, rather than spending recklessly on promoting dozens of incomplete payment platforms.

He highlighted the market dominating success of some Apple products in support of his argument, claiming that the mobile payment industry would eventually be driven by a small number of systems.

"From a consumer perspective the number of payment services in confusing, but this is true of all new technologies. Look at the MP3 player, there were loads. Then the iPod came about," he added.

"Someone will create a winning proposition. Ultimately, there will be one or two in this marketplace," he continued.

Virtually concurrent to the Visa chief's bold claims, PayPal launched its first mobile payment service for Android and iOS devices yesterday.

In partnership with banks including Barclays and NatWest, Visa currently enables controlled levels of contactless payment at select retailers.

Online deals website Groupon is also rumoured to be interested in entering the market.