A third of the world’s smartphone will use mobile point of sale (PoS) payments during 2018, research company eMarketer forecast.

In a report on mobile PoS payment trends, the company said 35 per cent of people aged over 14 years old with a smartphone are expected to use a service at least once every six months during 2018. The total number of users worldwide are tipped to surpass 1 billion for the first time in 2020, representing double-digit growth in both 2018 and 2019.

Unsurprisingly, eMarketer said China would continue to be the world leader, though its domination would be challenged by increased penetration in other markets. By the end of 2018, it expects China to account for 61 per cent of the world’s proximity mobile payments, though its share is set to fall to 56 per cent in 2021.

The company pointed to a range of factors impacting penetration of the technology in different regions.

In Western Europe, it said the popularity of contactless credit and debit cards meant consumers were less likely to use mobile payments on their smartphones. In developing markets in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, it said low bank account penetration and limited smartphone usage were the main problems.

Across developing markets, the report tipped contactless stickers – similar to those launched in 2017 by Safaricom in Kenya – to drive proximity payment growth.