Smartphone payments tipped to rise by 1000% in 2015

Deloitte predicts this will be the year the world starts using their smartphones as a credit or debit card, otherwise known as a digital wallet.

According to Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions report, smartphone payments will increase by 1000% in 2015.

This increase translates to 5% of the world’s 600 million near field communications (NFC) enabled smartphones being used to make an in-store payment at least once a month.

While the figure is only an uptake rate of one in 20, it’s a significant increase on the number of smartphone payments made in 2014 (when Deloitte estimates that fewer than 0.5% of NFC-enabled smartphone users accessed their smartphone’s payment feature).

Near field communications technology allows phones to make contactless payments, for purchases under $100. It’s the same technology behind smartphone apps such as Apple Pay, which was released on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ last year.

Stuart Johnston from Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications said Australians are already comfortable using banking apps (increasingly without traditional security features: Westpac, St. George and the Bank of Melbourne all offer banking apps with fingerprint technology, as opposed to a PIN), so performing contactless payments with smartphones seems like the next logical step.

He described 2015 as the "pivot point" for smartphone initiated payments, noting that smartphone technology "can and will be more secure than credit cards".

Deloitte forecasts that a billion people will upgrade their phones this year, with many upgrading to smartphones with NFC technology and fingerprint access.

Want to learn more about smartphone payments? Read our tell-all digital wallet guide here.