Italy leads the European mobile payments boom


Neomobile takes a closer look at dynamics within the European digital economy and the role of Italy as the leading force in the mobile payments boom

As the smartphone penetration continues to rise in Italy, so does the mobile retail market, driving inevitably the increase in quality and quantity of digital products: in this ecosystem the digital content market is expected to reach €29 billion by 2017. The recent report by comScore MobiLens brings some very interesting statistics:

  • In 2013 nearly two-thirds (64.1%) of Italy’s mobile phone owners had a smartphone, which is an increase of 23.5% compared with 2012
  • A major growth area among smartphone owners is shopping, as the number of retail apps and mobile sites users reportedly jumped by 74.8%
  • Increase in the interest in mobile payments, as the number of users rise by 65%

The research also reveals that  23% of Italian smartphone users accessed mobile retail sites or apps, while 22.6% visited shopping and price guides on mobile platforms. Furthermore, 21 % actually engaged in mobile payments or money transfers. Based on this data, eMarketer estimates that Italy will be the fourth-largest smartphone market in Western Europe this year, with 25.8 million people owning at least one smartphone device and even more importantly, it will be one of the fastest-growing markets, with a compound annual growth rate of 18.5% between 2012 and 2017.


The opportunities of mobile monetization in European digital ecosystem

Summing up all the numbers, and analyzing current trend in the world of mobile payments, one conclusion becomes evident: the current digital landscape in Italy, and Europe in general, is a fertile ground for the immense potential that lies within the carrier billing. Across Europe more than 283 million users  do not own a credit card, but at the same time the handset penetration is over 120 % making carrier billing a great monetization opportunity.

The value of digital content billed via carrier billing will rise, as recently estimated by Juniper Research, from €790 million in 2013 to €5,2 billion in 2017, with the average growth of 46 %. Neomobile strongly believes that the future of mobile payments will be carrier billing, and that it will revolutionize the world of mobile payment, transforming it into a seamless and safe purchase path.

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