Brits will spend £2.5bn a year via mobile from 2016.
The payment giant has just published a report – ‘Money: The Digital Tipping Point’ – that concludes the switchover to the mobile wallet will come from 2016.
The study, based on a survey by Forrester Consulting, said 49 per cent of those who already use mobile commerce purchase something at least once every three months.
It postulates that this is the start of a trend for making payments direct to the retailer – both in store and online.
And retailers seems to agree. Forrester interviewed ten senior executives representing a combined 2010 turnover of £85 billion, and nine out of ten believed digital wallet-based payments will be accepted within four years.
The report is not specific on the nature of these payments. But plenty of options are being trialled in then UK right now.
There's contactless NFC, of course, with Barclays and Orange launching Quick Tap mobile service in more than 50,000 shops.
Then there are the many firms offering payments for digital goods online using the mobile phone bill. Zong, Boku et al.
Carl Scheible, MD of PayPal UK said: “We’ll see a huge change over the next few years in the way we shop and pay for things. By 2016, you’ll be able to leave your wallet at home and use your mobile as the 21st century digital wallet.
"Our vision of money is to enable you to pay for something from wherever you are, whatever device you’re on – a PC, mobile phone, tablet, games console and a whole lot more.
“2016 will mark the real start of money’s digital switchover in the UK. We’re not saying cash will disappear entirely, but we’ll increasingly use our phones and other devices rather than our wallets to pay in-store as well as online."
PayPal has over 14 million active accounts in the UK, of which over a million have sent a payment from their mobile.
The firm expects to process more than $3.5 billion in mobile payment volume in 2011 – five times the volume it processed in 2010.