Google and Apple will gobble mobile wallet market share from carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone and others over the next handful of years, according to ABI Research.
Mobile wallet services from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will claim market share from similar services from carriers
such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Vodafone, according to ABI Research.
Mobile wallets include payment systems that consumers use to pay for goods with smartphones. Mobile
wallets, many of which use near-field communications (NFC) technology,
are all in early stages. Isis, the mobile
payment venture AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are spending
millions of dollars to build, won't launch until 2012.
However, ABI said NFC-based mobile wallet users will grow
to 594 million by 2016. Carriers and OS creators such as Google, Apple, Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) and Research In Motion will flood the market with NFC-capable
mobile phones in the United States, Western Europe, Japan and Korea. Moreover, merchant offers spurred by local daily deals will
provide consumers with added incentive to use mobile wallet services.
ABI Research analyst Mark Beccue said carriers will
provide 75 percent of the NFC-based mobile wallets in 2012, only to have Google
and Apple whittle carriers' market share down to 63 percent in 2016, thanks to their
strong brands and the ties they've created with consumers.
Google Wallet lets consumers in San Francisco and New York City pay for goods
at retailers such as Macy's and Toys R Us by tapping phones against check-out
terminals that support NFC.
While users currently can only access Google Wallet via Sprint's
Samsung Nexus S smartphones, Beccue said Google Wallet will see adoption
on more smartphones and by more retailers by the end of 2012.
The service, for which Google is providing added incentive with its Google Offers daily deals service, will succeed in markets where carriers
prefer not to spend capital to develop and support mobile wallet infrastructure.
By 2014, Google Wallet
will be supported alongside mobile wallet services from carriers with whom
Google currently partners to sell Android phones. Carriers will take a cut
from the joint ventures, Beccue added.
Apple has yet to launch a mobile payment service, though
it is widely believed from patents and whispers in the corners of the industry
that the company will equip its iPhones with payment-enabling NFC sensors and
software in 2012.
As with Google and its carrier partners, AT&T and
Verizon will allow Apple to offer its mobile wallet to consumers who have
iPhones, regardless of whether or not the carrier has a competing mobile
wallet, Beccue noted.
Interestingly, ABI believes over-the-top (OTT) mobile
wallet providers, such as those from banks, payment providers and merchants, will
have a hard time gaining traction versus carriers, Google, Apple and others.
This is because carriers will blend OS wallets from Google and Apple into their
own wallet services, winnowing down the growth of independent mobile wallets.