Google may have just unveiled its preliminary plans to bring contactless mobile payments to the U.S., but mobile payments in using various technologies are prime to blow up in several other markets around the world as well. Swedish wireless analyst firm Berg Insight on Thursday issued a report on mobile money in emerging markets, and the group believes adoption will skyrocket over the next four years. In 2010 there were 133 million people in emerging markets who used their cell phones to move money or pay for goods and services. That number is set to grow an average of 40% each year to reach 709 million in 2015, the firm believes. Over that same period, the total value of mobile payment transactions will balloon from $25 billion in 2010 to $215 billion in 2015. “In developing regions such as Africa the mobile phone will become the primary digital channel for people to conduct financial services in the coming years,” said Telecom Analyst Lars Kurkinen. “Financial institutions are beginning to realize the importance of mobile phones to reach new clients viewing mobile money services as high-priority strategic projects. Also mobile operators and third party service providers are ramping up their efforts to target the huge unbanked populations in emerging markets.” Hit the break for Berg’s full release. More →
LG’s popular GSM KP500 “Cookie” may be making its debut in the Asia Pacific region as the CDMA-toting KX500. Thus far, the GSM Cookie has been a huge success for LG — selling over 2 million handsets worldwide since its launch in October 2008 — and its extension into the CDMA market will only help to boost those sales figures. The CDMA2000 1x-compatible Cookie appears to be similar to the GSM version in terms of specifications with the same 3-inch touchscreen display, 3 megapixel camera, accelerometer, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and FM radio. It’s also compatible with Verizon Wireless and Sprint networks of course, though there’s currently no word on the handset being carried by either. According to retailer ePrice, the KX500 will be available by the end of May with a $276 price point.
[Via Unwired View]