The amount of payments made using mobile, online and contactless methods is set to reach $4.7 trillion (£2.76 trillion) per year by 2019, research has found.
A new report from Juniper Research has found that transactions made by such alternative methods are set to nearly double in the next five years, with $2.5 trillion (£1.47 trillion) worth of payments occurring this year.
The Digital Payment Strategies: Online, Mobile & Contactless 2014-2019 report highlighted remote physical goods purchases as a particularly key factor, finding that this would be especially prevalent in emerging markets such as China, where online retail giant Alibaba, which is set to announced the world's largest IPO within weeks, accounts for a fifth of global B2C and C2C ecommerce across the world in 2013.
The report also predicted that alongside continued high mobile usage, consumers would increasingly use tablet devices to shop instead of older desktop or laptop computers, as the number of combined transactions on mobile handsets and tablets would exceed those on desktops and laptops for the first time this year.
The popularity of such mobile devices is also accelerating the transition between physical and digital formats, the report noted, with the media sector especially affected, as items such as CDs and DVDs are replaced by downloaded or streamed content, along with the rise of Video on Demand services such as Netflix and LoveFilm.
Contactless payments would be a particularly high growth sector, the report also noted, with NFC services ensuring that purchases using card remain higher than using a mobile device.
Report author Dr Windsor Holden said: "While we are now seeing contactless transactions scaling up in markets such as Australia, Poland and the UK, almost all current consumer usage is via the card.
"However, with banks increasingly attracted to an NFC model in which they have full control of the customer, then we may well see some high-profile deployments in the medium term."
The UK's embracing of alternative payment methods was supported by recent figures released by the British Trade Consortium, which showed the number of cash payments decreasing as shoppers increasingly use utilise contactless cards and mobile payment options to make smaller 'on the go' payments.
A recent survey by mobile payments company PayPoint also estimated that by 2019, nearly a third of all transactions made in the UK will be made by methods such as mobile payments, vouchers, coupons and PayPal, as opposed to 9.3% of transactions made today.
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