Big Picture

REPORT: Digital wallets are becoming a huge trend

From the beginning of the pandemic till now the payments through smartphones have become very common following continuous growth. Both the number of users and the level of value of transactions have increased. According to recent data, digital wallets are expected to become a US$2.4 trillion industry in 2021, with the value of transactions showing an increase of about 24% compared to a year ago.

Forecasts point to a further increase in 2023 reaching the amount of $ 3.5 trillion as far as value is concerned and the amount of $ 4.6 billion in 2025. In 2018 the value of transactions through digital wallets amounted to only $ 756 billion, while in 2019 it increased 90% reaching up to $ 1.2 billion. In 2020, the market approached the amount of $ 2 trillion in value as digital payments increased rapidly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of people choosing mobile wallets to manage their payments has also increased dramatically in recent years. In 2019, 901 million people worldwide used this payment method. According to Statista, the number of users is expected to reach almost 1.5 billion in 2021, increasing by 11% year on year. By 2023, the total number of people using digital wallets is expected to reach 1.7 billion worldwide.

The most common services for digital payments are Apple’s, Apple Pay, and the Google Digital Wallet, while WeChat Pay and AliPay lead the market, according to Statista. The digital wallet market is dominated by Asian countries. China is the world leader. The country will generate half of the global mobile payments by 2023.

The value of those payments will reach US$1.3 trillion by the end of 2021. Western countries are far behind in the use of digital wallets, as most citizens still prefer cash, credit, or debit cards. The US is the second-largest mobile payments market in the world, with the value of transactions reaching US$465.1 billion. This amount is almost three times less than in China.

However, statistics show that the US market is expected to show impressive growth in the coming years, with the estimated value of transactions through digital wallets increasing by 49% to US$698 billion in 2023. The United Kingdom is the third-largest digital wallet industry in the world and the first one in Europe, with a trading value of US$98.5 billion in 2021. This is equivalent to a rise of 195% within two years.

Overall in Europe, the digital payments industry will rise impressively during 2021. More specifically, the transaction value is estimated to rise by more than US$260 billion in a year. Statista data indicates digital payments in Europe will further rise by another US$775 billion by 2025, more than the entire transaction value in 2018.

Germany is the second-largest European digital payments industry. The transaction value in 2021 is estimated at about US$178 billion, following a 14% increase within two years. France comes third as digital payments are set to grow by 26.7% year-over-year to US$127 billion in 2021.

In the next four years, this figure is expected to jump to almost US$225 billion. Italy and Spain have also significant growth in digital payments. For example, the value of the transactions has risen by 32.7% and 32.3% year over year to US$66.7 billion and $65.8 billion in 2021, respectively. The Italian digital payments industry will reach in value of $US123 billion by 2025 while the Spanish digital payments industry will reach in value of US$105 billion by 2025.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at maria-gourtsilidou@ceoworld.biz.