Market Insights

How to join the mobile payments revolution

Over three-quarters of UK adults now own a smartphone. And increasingly we’re not afraid to use them to pay for goods and services. Whether that means accessing eCommerce sites from our phones or paying in-store via services like Apple Pay, it’s all about speed and convenience.

21 Jun 2018

In such a fast-moving space, it makes good business sense to keep up with the latest trends. So we’ve put together a quick guide to what’s happening out there. We’ll tell you who the main players are, how mobile payments can help your business, and what to look out for in the future.

Who’s going mobile?

There are several elements to consider in the fast-growing mobile payments space. Here’s what the current state-of-play looks like.

  • Mobile friendly: The global eCommerce market is expected to hit $2.4tr by 2019, with 23% spent on mobiles. In the UK that figure will be even higher (28%), according to Worldpay data. Most larger retailers now have a mobile friendly site to capitalise on this trend
  • Apple Pay only launched in the UK in July 2015, but is already rapidly becoming the most visible player in this market. The user signs up with their card details to tap-and-pay in-store with their smartphone. It’s fast, intuitive and secure, and the Apple brand has persuaded many big high street names, banks and card companies to sign up already. Users can also pay within apps using the service, with the benefit of not having to re-enter shipping and payment details each time
  • Android Pay and Samsung Pay are also rumoured to land in the UK this year, offering a similar tap-and-pay service to Apple. It’s just like using your Contactless credit or debit card
  • Digital wallets: Although Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay could strictly be described as digital wallets, they can also be used to make physical payments in-store. Services like MasterCard’s MasterPass only work online, and can be accessed from any internet-connected device/computer. They save card and other details to a ‘digital wallet’ so customers don’t have to type them in each time they pay online.

What does the future hold?

As the technology matures, consumers get more familiar with using it and more businesses sign up. We’ll see mobile payments moving from a ‘nice-to-have’ to something every business should seriously consider. Here’s just a taste of what’s to come:

  • According to Worldpay, mobile as a proportion of UK eCommerce will grow from $24bn (18%) in 2015 to $47bn (28%) by 2019
  • Of the 59% of UK adults who used their smartphone to browse shopping sites/apps in the UK, over half do this at least once a week, found research from Deloitte
  • Visa Europe predicts mobile payment sales will hit £1.2bn per week by 2020
  • Analyst firm Juniper predicts that the number of mobile wallets using contactless technology will hit 200 million globally by next year, driven partly by Apple Pay
  • A quarter of UK consumers think that mobile payment technology is a useful feature, according to uSwitch
  • Analyst 451 Research claims that the global installed base for mPOS will grow from 13.3 million units today to 54 million by 2019

Why mobile?

If you weren’t already convinced, here’s why more and more UK businesses are tapping into the mobile payments revolution:

In store

  • Offers customers more choice to pay in the way they prefer. This will maximise your sales and increase the chances of them coming back
  • Speeds up sales and cuts queues at the till, reducing the chances of customers abandoning their purchase
  • More secure and cheaper than processing cash payments
  • As a smaller businesses, help close the gap with your bigger rivals by putting the customer experience front and centre


  • Make sure you don’t miss any sales, as more and more consumers shop via their mobiles
  • Help create a multi-channel experience, allowing shoppers to research online via their mobile while they’re in-store
  • Opportunity to send discount ‘coupons’ and deals direct to mobile which can be redeemed in-store

Staying ahead of the curve

Make sure your card machine is able to accept contactless and mobile payments to benefit from this mobile revolution.

Call us on 0345 761 6263 to find out more about upgrading your card machine.


Worldpay stats taken from Global Payments Report, November 2015
Deloitte: Mobile Consumer 2015 report

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