A smart (phone) way to pay

As if our coffee addictions weren't bad enough, now you can pay on your mobile. 

Shortly after Starbucks announced they'd processed over 42 million mobile payments since they launched their 'mobile pay' feature in January 2011, Mastercard announced they'll be introducing a service that allows shoppers to pay for things with their mobile too.

Buying coffee is as simple as presenting an onscreen barcode which corresponds to your Starbucks card and with a 62% increase on last years mobile payments already, there's no sign of Starbucks mobile payments slowing down. Now with a redesigned Android app, Starbucks are about to open themselves up to 56% of the mobile market and their figures are expected to soar even higher. In fact, the mobile market is forecast to be worth a whopping $617 billion with 448 users by 2016.

The mobile market will be worth $617 Billion by 2016

Payment through a smart phone allows shoppers to ditch their wallet, making payments far faster, convenient and more flexible. Ed McLaughlin, one of the directors at Mastercard, said "consumers are looking for a way to pay for goods when, how and where they choose" and retailers "want more flexibility to easily accept digital payments so they can convert more browsers to buyers both online and in store."

With Paypal announcing that stores such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Foot Locker, Toys 'R' Us and 12 more retail giants are rolling out mobile payment, there has never been such a recognisable pressure on companies such as Mastercard to make it easier to pay on mobile. It'll be as easy to pay as it is to listen to music or surf the web, it'll be instant. Gartner predict $171.5 billion in transaction values and a staggering 212 million people will use mobile payment this year - it's a rapidly growing market with incredible demand.

What do you think?