The rise and rise of mobile payments

Believe it or not, mobile payments are barely more than 10 years old. But in this time, they have made several impressive advances and cemented themselves as a mainstream payment method in their own right. Let’s look at some of the highlights of the meteoric rise of mobile payments from the 2000s through to 2018 and beyond.


Companies such as Fujitsu and Cybertill attempt to introduce mPOS solutions after 2001, but they are either too complex or too costly to gain popularity. However, it’s clear that there’s a gap in the market for mobile payments.


The first popular mobile POS (mPOS) system for smartphones and tablets is released by Square . Square is free and relies on a card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of smartphones and tablets.


MasterCard ships 1.2 million mPOS solutions to its merchants worldwide, 75% of whom had not been accepting card payments.


ZipZap mobile POS makes its debut. ZipZap is a simple, affordable and secure mobile payments solution. All you need is the free app and the ZipZap card reader which connects wirelessly with smart devices. ZipZap is 100% PCI-certified.


Standard Bank’s introduces BluMobi, their mobile payments solution. It carries the same benefits of ZipZap – flexibility, security, mobility and simplicity.


Javelin Strategy & Research predicts that $5.4 billion (R64.8 billion) will be processed through mPOS solutions by 2018. That’s 11 times the transaction volume reported in 2012 – $500 million (R6 billion at today’s rate).


Transparency Market Research estimates that the global mPOS market will ship 245 million devices by 2022. Additionally, Juniper Research expects one in three POS devices to be mobile by 2021. Over the next few years, mobile payments won’t replace traditional payments, but will complement them and enhance the customer experience.