26/02/2013 Statistics and MICE researches

Mobile payment is becoming increasingly popular in Italy

Based on a report by the NFC (Near Field Communication) & Mobile Payment Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano, Mobile Remote Payment & Commerce transactions have boomed in Italy: in fact, market figures have increased from €700 million in 2011 to more than 900 million in 2012, thus registering a +30% increase.

Of these, as much as  €470 million originate from the use of Mobile Payment for the purchase of digital content for cell phones, up by 15% compared to 2011.

However, the sector showing the largest increase is the one related to the purchase of goods and services, showing a growth figure of +60% , for a value of approximately €310 million. The growth of Mobile Remote Commerce, i.e. online purchases which also  imply the use of a mobile phone during one or two stages of the process. Among the most active sectors, accounting for 86% of the value of transactions, we find tourism and transport, coupons, auctions and purchase groups.

Direct payment using a mobile phone for the purchase of a service, accounts for a value of 130 out of the €310 million related to Mobile Remote Payment & Commerce transactions for goods and services. Approximately 80% of this amount was spent to purchase mobile phone top-ups and to make postal payments, including, for example, the Italian television tax (RAI) or payments for utilities. The remaining 20% was used to pay services,  above all in the mobility sector, such as for “parking”, local public transport tickets, taxis, car&bike sharing and ztl. In fact, it is estimated that more than 700, 000 hours of parking are paid for by Italians using mobile phones, more than 600,000 transportation tickets are purchased using this format, with a few thousand accounting for mobile top-ups. Conversely, taxi rides paid for by means of mobile phone billing account for almost 10,000. For a total of more than1 million transactions involving the payment of small amounts of money.

The remaining €150 million of the value of the Mobile Remote Payment & Commerce market, originate from Mobile Money Transfer activities which increased by 50% in 2012: 84% accounts for the purchase of pre-paid top-up cards, 13% from the transfer of phone credit and only 3% from the "real" Mobile Money Transfer p2p.

Based on the simulation conducted by the Politecnico di Milano, it is estimated that, until 2016, the number of users making payments by means of a Mobile Proximity Payment solution, will oscillate between 6 and 10.3 million users, against an average NFC mobile phone fleet that exceeds 25 million units; while the number of businesses equipped with NFC POS terminals will oscillate between 405, 000 and 610,000 units.


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