Mobile wallets have exploded in popularity over the last few years, and the companies running platforms such as Alipay, WeChat, PayPal, and Apple Pay have stood to benefit from massive increases in their user base.
According to a study by Merchant Machine, that trend is only going to increase in the near future. In fact, the study argues, by 2024 there will be an estimated 4.4 billion people around the world using mobile wallets – over half the world’s total population – which will have generated over $1.6 quadrillion.
“The safety, security, and convenience of digital wallets, as well as the popularity of smartphones and general digitalization of society, were among the main reasons for the popularity of this method,” argued the authors of the study. While the most dramatic growth is expected in China, a current international leader in contactless payment acceptance, the trend is expected in markets across all regions.
While the implications of the study for mobile wallet platforms in particular are breathtaking in their scale, study authors also identified other areas of growth for the near future. Authors cited the particular popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) schemes by companies including Klarna, which are expected to continue their positive status among the Millennial and Gen Z demographics.