Over $130bn (£83bn) will be spent via NFC-enabled mobile handsets by 2020, equating to 254m mobile users making 5 payments a month with an average value of just under $9.
The figures come from a new report by Strategy Analytics, which suggest the launch of Apple Pay and competing systems will dramatically change the landscape of NFC payments, driving acceptance among retailers and consumer demand for contactless functionality.
"The launch of Apple Pay is significant because it means all major smartphone vendors support NFC-based mobile payments, but it also provides a credibility boost for the NFC payments sector as a whole," said Nitesh Patel, director of wireless media strategies at Strategy Analytics. "Furthermore, continued efforts by payment networks, for example MasterCard has set a target of all MasterCard payment points supporting NFC in Europe by 2020, will be crucial in stimulating its use and adoption."
Not all industry figures were convinced about the inevitability of NFC however. "Despite Strategy Analytics' positive outlook for NFC-based mobile payments it will account for a single digit share of the multi-trillion dollar retail market globally by 2020, as traditional forms of payment (e.g. cash and cards) remain dominant," said David MacQueen, executive director at media and apps at Strategy Analytics. "We don't expect consumers to begin to leave their wallets behind until NFC POS becomes ubiquitous towards the end of the forecast period.
"Even in countries like Japan and Korea, where contactless payment initiatives have been established for longer, mobile payment co-exists with cards and cash."