Global payments through mobile devices could reach around $507 billion this year, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Almost 40% year-on-year growth is expected in 2014, driven mostly by the purchases of physical goods on mobile devices.

Meanwhile, in many of the markets that make up the Mobile Payment Strategies: Remote, Contactless & Money Transfer 2014-2018 report, average transaction sizes on tablets are already way above those initiated on desktop PCs.

Search and discover

Spend on smartphones has increased sharply too, but their primary retail function is as a tool for search and discovery, which PerformanceIN has previously reported on. Consumers are then choosing to make the final purchase on a tablet.

Juniper revealed that digital transactions were being pushed along by the adoption of mobile ticketing applications at metro and transit authorities in Europe and North America. Large numbers of consumers are said to have already signed up to these services.

On the downside, consumers simply are not embracing on a large scale. Juniper believes this is down to a scarcity of mobile launches, however it did say there might be an upswing in the medium turn.

Cloud-based NFC

Several cloud-based secure element solutions are apparently vying to be the shot in the arm that the industry needs. Many of which reduce the time to market of near field communications (NFC) solutions.

Report author and research director at Juniper, Dr Windsor Holden, said that banks have so far been put off by the NFC market, a market that could greatly benefit from some standardisation.

“The prevalent business models for NFC have been unattractive to banks and left them dependent on multiple network operators, each of which may have its own approach to mobile wallet management.

“Host Card Emulation (HCE) solutions have the potential to revitalise a market which has struggled to gain traction.”