IDC Financial Insights recently released a new report, which analyzes the mobile payment and mobile banking space in the Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region.

The research group highlights that the mobile commerce payments market still has a long way to go before any serious impact will be felt by consumers or by the retail industry.

“Steady moves by card issuers to increase the adoption of contactless cards and the increasing acceptance of mobile banking as a channel are prerequisites for the emergence of any meaningful, full-sized mobile payments market in Western Europe,” say analysts.

IDC estimates that the share of contactless/mobile/remote payment transaction in 2015 will be no more than $125 billion with less than 13% of European mobile handset users registered to use a payment service.

According to the report, the mobile payments industry must focus less on the use of advanced technology to partially replace existing payment methods, and more on the more practical (and sometimes mundane) application of the technology to specific processes.

A close analysis of the industry shows that over the next three to five years the lack of a positive business case for all players will hamper many mobile payments projects. IDC also predicts that mobile banking (account info access and alerts) will blaze a trail over the next two to three years, laying the foundations for mobile payments.

According to IDC analysts, key foundations for the success of retail mobile payments in Western Europe lie in the advancement of contactless debit/credit cards POS infrastructure.

"Mobile payments are still an emerging technology capability that will take significantly longer to bear fruit than most industry observers hope," said Trevor LaFleche, senior research analyst, with IDC Financial Insights’ European banking practice for EMEA.

"Shifting technological foundations of what constitutes a mobile device will confound industry purists, as has often happened when a technology does not take off as predicted. The varied nature of existing infrastructure and consumer need will continue to split the EMEA region into three distinct segments, which will need to be uniquely served to improve the penetration of the correct payment service to the correct market," he added.

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