Smartphones will replace credit cards and even cash as the chief method of payment by 2020, experts have predicted.
A survey of more than 1,000 technology experts has found that the majority believe contactless payment will overtake cash and credit cards in this decade.
The survey found that more than 60% of technology experts felt that paying with smartphones will be widespread within just eight years.
Smartphones use Near Field Communication to make contactless payments, in which a sensor in the device and another in the payment terminal trigger a transaction.
The technology is becoming increasingly popular, with technology companies such as Google introducing the payment method.
Technology giant Apple is also rumoured to be developing its own contactless payment app, which is expected to use Near Field Communication. There are also a number of start-up companies looking to capitalise on the growing popularity of the payment method.
In the US, more than 10% of mobile phone users have made a payment using their smartphone, a trend that is set to continue this year and into the future.
“NFC is going to play a much more prominent role, a major role in m-commerce,” said Chris Silva, an analyst with Altimeter Group.
The timeframe for the growth of contactless payment has been the subject of much debate, as credit card companies are reluctant to allow different payment methods into the market.
“There was a relatively strong notion that it’s something that may not happen really quickly due to the reluctance of incumbents to cede their place in the market,” added Mr Silva.
There has also been concern about the security risks associated with contactless payment, as there have been a number of cases of users having their card details stolen.
It was revealed recently that users of Google Wallet could have their details hacked, thanks to a flaw in the payment technology.
It was found that anyone with a Google Wallet-enabled device can change the PIN by clearing the data on the app. When a new PIN is asked for, the hacker can access the funds in the account the smartphone is tied to.
Barclay’s contactless credit card has also come under fire recently, as it was discovered that details on the card could be stolen by simply waving a smartphone in front of it.
Prepaid credit cards are a good way to bypass most security risks, as they are not tied to a bank account and only have a specific amount of funds on them.