By 2018, 50% of consumers in mature markets will use smartphones or wearables to make mobile payments, according to research from Gartner Inc.

Mobile payments are gaining acceptance among consumers in North America, Japan and some countries in Western Europe, the firm says.

"Innovation in apps, mobile devices and mobile services are impacting traditional business models, particularly in the way people use personal technology for productivity and pleasure," Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "Product managers must understand who their customers are for these new devices and services, and how the products are being used,” Sabia said. “Knowing your customer is imperative in order to capture a fair share of spending opportunities in this dynamic marketplace."

There are now three types of mobile payments or mobile wallets available, including smartphone or wearables-based payments, branded mobile wallets from banks or credit card providers, and branded mobile wallets from retailers.

Mobile payments using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology will be limited in the short to midterm due to a lack of partnerships between retailers and financial organizations, as well as consumers seeing little value in such payments, Gartner says.

"Any mobile payment wallets that are tied to the device will have limited adoption and only if the device has a huge installed base," Annette Jump, research director at Gartner, said. "Instead, cloud-based solutions will have a better chance to succeed as they can reach a wider audience and can support many use cases beyond face-to-face or in-store options.”

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