Is 2016 the tipping point for mobile payments?

Industry experts agree that after years of discussion and much speculation the mobile payments market is finally taking off. In fact, according to, the U.S. market is expected to triple this year to $27.05 billion, up from $8.71 billion in 2015. And the research firm reports that the number of people making proximity payments will increase by 61.8 percent to more than 37.5 million. Consider also a recent Gartner, Inc. report predicting that by 2017, mobile commerce revenue in the U.S. will account for 50 percent of all U.S. digital commerce revenue.

“While consumers and merchants have been relatively slow to adopt mobile payments until now, we are starting to see the numbers tick upward,” said Amanda Smith, Strategic Product Architect for CO-OP Financial Services. “So 2016 may just be a breakout year for the technology.”

Emerging Markets Are Going Mobile

According to Smith, to-date the U.S. has lagged a bit behind some nations in terms of mobile payment adoption partly because of our economy’s reliance on legacy systems put in place years before mobile even existed.

“Interestingly, some of the fastest adopters of the technology have been regions such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa,” she said. “Because their emerging economies are not hindered by legacy systems, they have been able to leapfrog into the future with infrastructure that is purpose-built for mobile.”

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