Mobile payments for digital and physical goods, money transfers and near field communications (NFC) transactions are predicted to reach $670 billion by 2015, up from $240 billion this year, according to Juniper Research.

The study says the growth will be driven by the rapid adoption of mobile ticketing, NFC contactless payments, physical goods purchases and money transfers.

Some 20 countries are expected to launch NFC services in the next 18 months, resulting in transactions approaching $50 billion worldwide by 2014. Meanwhile, the need for financial access in developing countries is such that active mobile money users will double by 2013 and drive transaction values accordingly. 

"Our analysis shows that emerging segments such as physical goods payments, NFC and money transfers will fuel market growth by a factor of 2.7 times by 2015,” David Snow, senior analyst, said.

“Digital goods are the largest segment and, although forecast to more than double, it is not growing as quickly as some of the newer segments.”

The report also found that digital goods payments will account for 40 per cent of the market in 2015 and the top three regions – China, Western Europe and North America – for mobile payments will represent 75 per cent of global mobile payment gross value by the same year.