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Contactless payment market value to hit $95bn by 2018

The global value of contactless payment market will reach almost $100 billion by 2018, a new study by market analysts Juniper Research says.

According to the research, entitled Contactless Payment: NFC Handsets, Wearables & Payment Cards 2016 – 2020, the market will hit $95 billion in two years, up from $35 billion in 2015.

The research says wearable devices, such as smartwatches and smart wristbands will be important for the market, but not crucial. Wearables as a whole would not account for more than 2 per cent of non-card contactless payments by value in 2018.

On the other hand, smartphones will be extremely important. The research says the 9 million Apple Watches that were sold in 2015 were 'dwarfed' by NFC-capable iPhones.

It also said that such devices pose a higher security risk.

With vendors embedding security measures within their devices, the report argues this spells trouble for mobile network operators. Samsung, currently the only OEM with its own contactless payment service, is being followed by Xiaomi, ZTE and Lenovo.

"Most operator-led pilots and commercial ventures have now closed down,” says research co-author Nitin Bhas.

“Apple’s entry into NFC gave the industry a much needed boost, and could well be seen as the tipping point for the technology, but at the same time it sounded the death knell for the mobile operator projects.”

The whitepaper, ‘NFC ~ No Contact Required’, is available to download from this link.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / gpointstudio