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Mobile payments drive eBay growth

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Online marketplace eBay has recently posted its first billion-dollar revenue quarter, confirming that mobile commerce is continuing its shift into the mainstream. The challenge for telecoms and retail industries alike is to make sure they are not late to the party and avoid being left behind.

According to an official company press release, the results were driven by strong growth from mobile payments made through the company’s secure payments arm, PayPal. The eCommerce giant claimed:

“PayPal continued to demonstrate strength in mobile payments and now expects more than $3 billion in mobile TPV [Total Payment Volume] this year, compared to $750 million in 2010.”

The level of growth suggests an increasing appetite amongst customers to be able to pay for their goods via a range of devices in a manner that is both convenient and secure. It is up to the industry to make sure it can successfully cater to this demand.

eBay recently released the results of a survey forecasting that mobile commerce will be worth £19bn in the UK alone by 2021. Meanwhile, downloads of the company’s portfolio of mobile applications have reportedly surpassed 45 million globally since the launch of mobile in the third quarter of 2008. The market potential is clear and eBay has taken a significant step towards establishing itself at the forefront of mass market mobile commerce.

Mark Beccue, senior analyst at ABI Research in New York, was quoted by Mobile Commerce Daily this week explaining that a significant portion of PayPal’s mobile revenue is coming from international markets where there is low penetration of credit cards. Gemalto is already helping telecommunications firms in emerging economies to roll out mobile financial services, but unless global retailers recognize the direction in which the market is going and optimize their service for mobile, they risk losing the early ground to more astute rivals.

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