Teething problems with mobile payment technology should not dramatically affect the pace of its adoption, with almost £400billion of transactions forecast to be carried out on the move by 2016.
According to analysts Gartner, the market for mobile payments will grow at an annual rate of more than 40 per cent over the next five years.
Gartner's research director, Sandy Shen, said: “We are forecasting a market worth $617billion (£396billion) with 448 million users by 2016.”
The company added, however, that fragmented development of remote payment technologies was likely to make it difficult for any single system to emerge as a dominant force.
Technology website zdnet.com reported that the first mobile payments facility arrived as long ago as 2002, but it cast doubt on Gartner's forecast, saying “there's little evidence of a boom”.
It echoed Gartner's view on the moribund nature of current developments, saying: “Few retailers support even one mobile payment service, and there is no single system or device that a customer could rely on using everywhere.”
But it added: “Since there are huge commercial benefits to having a cheap, secure way to exchange small sums of money, perhaps that should prompt the European nations to choose one widely-supported system, as they did with GSM.”
However, it concluded, that might not happen.