Paying by Mobile: Travel Leads the Charge

by Net Future Institute on July 7, 2014

By Chuck Martin

While mobile payments aren’t yet in the masses, they do seem to be inching along in various areas.

For the first quarter of this year, mobile Web payments in one global network were 20% of all payment transactions, an increase of 66% from the previous year.

Interestingly, the transactions were essentially split between smartphones (11%) and tablets (9%), according to the fourth annual Mobile Payment Index by Adyen, a global payments company.

Recent studies typically show a much larger proportion of transactions coming from tablets rather than smartphones.

While many recent studies such as this one are hardly definitive, they can be viewed at least as indicators of market direction or trend.

For example, the Adyen study found that 70% of its merchants worldwide are seeing payment traffic originating from the mobile Web, with increases in multiple categories. The quarterly increases, by segment:

6% – -Digital goods
5% — Travel
3% — Ticketing
3% — Retail

While smartphones lead in transaction, 54% to 46%, tablet users spend more per transaction, based on the index. iPhones also leads smartphone transactions with 31% compared to Android at 23%, consistent with other studies.

By average purchase transaction amounts, the travel sector came out on top, with its average value per transaction increasing 63% on tablets and 30% on smartphones. By category, here are the average transaction amounts for smartphones:

$79 – Travel
$77 – Retail
$61 – Ticketing
$54 – Gaming
$29 – Digital goods

Across the board, the average transaction values on tablets are higher:

$201 – Travel
$113 – Retail
$66 – Ticketing
$66 – Gaming
$35 – Digital goods

Some of this is merely people using a phone or tablet as a mobile internet access tool and migrating what they already do online to their mobile device. Some of it involves consumers moving to mobile commerce as a choice purchasing method.

No matter how measured, more online money being spent is starting at and coming through mobile.


Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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