Mobile Payment

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What Does Mobile Payment Mean?

Mobile payment is a term for using mobile devices to facilitate financial transactions.


Mobile payment is also known as mobile money transfer or M-payment.

Techopedia Explains Mobile Payment

Mobile payment is a quickly emerging practice, supported by the dramatic increase of mobile phone or device users around the world.

Experts estimate that in 2013, the total commerce done in mobile payment systems was around $600 billion, or double the estimate for 2011.

Several main types of mobile payment systems are commonly used to sell goods and services over mobile devices. Some are similar to laptop or web-based systems, where users enter credit card information into a mobile app.

Others have different models for convenience: for example, ‘direct-carrier’ billing allows the user to input some types of cost for a digital purchases directly into their cell phone carrier bill.

Other types of proprietary vendor built systems might allow someone to get, for example, a cup of coffee or another kind of products through a system where their payment information is housed in that companies database.

Aside from relying on the emergence of smartphones, mobile payment also relies on the evolution of 3G and 4G wireless networks as well as personal merchant account services that help businesses to use mobile devices at it point of sale.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.