Forecast: Mobile phone transactions to hit $300 billion in 5 years

Virgin Mobile/Helio merger, we’ll start off the day with something else. For those who want more on the deal, it’ll come in a couple of hours. For now, we turn our attention to the mobile transaction market, which is rather slow in the U.S. now. Everyone I’ve talked to blames security concerns for the lack of mobile transaction growth. That should eventually be resolved, though, and analysts have put a number to the level it should hit by 2013: $300 billion.

Report author Howard Wilcox noted: “Merchants in North America and Western Europe are just starting to realise the potential of a mobile web presence as a fourth channel to market. Retailers should be evaluating the benefits of the mobile web, and be mindful of the success of regular ecommerce sites in generating sales. They need to move quickly to exploit the opportunity presented, and ensure that they maintain ease of use for their customers who are already familiar with web shopping from their PCs.”
With more and more prepaid carriers picking up mobile Web (we’re waiting for you, Page Plus), one has to wonder if these kinds of transactions will ever hit prepaid phones. I’m not sure it would fly right now, given the anonymity you get with a prepaid phone. Then again, with some states clamoring to require IDs for prepaid phone purchases, maybe it could work. Many American still view mobile shopping with a skeptical eye. And unless someone or some company can do something to convince them otherwise, Juniper Research, authors of the report, might find that reality doesn’t match their forecast.]]>

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