Mobile payments market expected to touch $245bn: E&Y

"Overall, mobile payment services are expected to reach $245 billion in value worldwide by 2014," according to the report by Ernst and Young

Billed as the future of banking, the value of financial transactions carried out through mobile phones has been pegged at $245 billion worldwide by 2014 in a new report by global consultancy firm Ernst & Young.

"Overall, mobile payment services are expected to reach $245 billion in value worldwide by 2014," according to the report by Ernst and Young (E&Y).
At the same time, the number of users carrying out transactions using mobile money is expected to total 340 million by 2014, equivalent to 5 per cent of existing mobile subscribers across the globe, the report said.

There were 81.3 million people worldwide that used their mobile devices to make payments in 2009 and the value of m-payments stood at $69 billion during the period, according to an estimate.

The mobile payments market has gained traction in recent years, owing to factors such as higher penetration of handsets in comparison to coverage of population with banking services and benign regulatory environments.

"The acceleration of mobile remittance services alongside new mobile payment scenarios highlights the range of opportunities for the mobile phone to redefine the movement of money by lowering costs, increasing convenience and reducing fraud," the report said.

The increasing use of the mobile payment concept by consumers across the globe, especially in heavily populous countries in the Asia-Pacific region, may inflate the market for mobile payments in the coming years. The report said that mobile money is being seen as the key for many operators in Asia to provide value-added services to customers and operators in emerging markets, such as the Philippines and Bangladesh, as well as a catalyst for bringing banking services to the large unbanked population of these countries. It further said that operators in developed markets are targeting e-wallets at smartphone users.

In terms of the mobile payment technologies being used, SMS mobile payments are the most prevalent worldwide mobile, while Near Field Communications (NFC) and internet transactions over mobiles are among the other fast-growing technologies.

Earlier, a KPMG survey indicated that most executives worldwide believe the use of cellphones for financial transactions will gain widespread acceptance within four years.


American Express launches pre-paid gift card in India

Gift card is available in two variants-'Classic' and 'Diwali'

American multinational financial services corporation American Express has launched a new pre-paid gift card in India.

The gift card is available in two variants-'Classic' and 'Diwali'-and entails no additional spending after purchase, an American Express release said.

The card will be available in Rs500, Rs1,000, Rs2,000 and Rs5,000 denominations, it said, adding that it can be replaced for free if lost or stolen. There will be no fee for checking balance, monthly servicing or for card replacement, the release said.

American Express global payment options president Alpesh Chokshi said, "Gifting is an integral part of Indian culture and we are excited to launch the American Express gift card in India, providing millions of consumers and corporations with the perfect gift for any occasion."

With the launch of the American Express gift card in India, Chokshi said, "We are setting a new standard in the gifting segment, which is estimated to be more than $30 billion."


Pratibha Jain joins Nishith Desai Associates

Pratibha Jain has extensive experience in US and Indian securities laws

Nishith Desai Associates said that Pratibha Jain has joined the company to head its Delhi office.

Ms Jain brings with her a breadth of international and Indian experience having worked in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Mumbai. She was till recently the vice president and counsel for Goldman Sachs in India. She has earlier worked as an associate with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in their New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong offices and with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom LLP in their Hong Kong office.

Ms Jain has extensive experience in US and Indian securities laws.   Her areas of focus include private equity, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and regulatory advisory and public policy matters.  

Ms Jain's educational qualifications include BA (Economics) Hons and LLB degree from Delhi University, a bachelor of civil law degree from the University of Oxford, where she was a St Catherine's College Bursary Holder; and a LLM degree from the Harvard Law School, where she was a Samuel Morse Lane Fellow.


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