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eBay predicts record year for m-commerce activity

22 January 2013 - 09:36 by Sarah Collinson

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More people will be spending money with auction site eBay via their mobile devices than ever before in 2013, according to projections from the firm itself.

It believes that $20 billion ((12.6 billion) of its total sales will be attributable to m-commerce transactions, which is an 18 per cent increase on the amount spent in 2012.

Interestingly, the same $20 billion figure has been predicted as the amount that will be spent from mobile users who are harnessing PayPal, the online payment service that is an eBay subsidiary.

Last year, eBay customers across the globe spent $14.1 billion ((8.9 billion) via safe shopping online from smartphones and tablets, which was double the figure recorded in 2011. Although 2013's anticipated 18 per cent growth is less impressive, it still shows that there is room for strong expansion in the realm of m-commerce.

eBay has big plans for increasing the ease with which people can register with its various services, most of which relate to a recent acquisition made by the auction site.

It has invested in technology that will allow smartphone users to capture credit card information and even data from their driver's licence, just by snapping a photo.

This will mean that people can register to make purchases via safe shopping online using PayPal, without spending ages entering their private details manually.

Of course, there will probably be concerns over the potential security risks posed by this new technology, but as long as it is carefully implemented, it should be a way to improve convenience, not reduce customer protection.

The UK will provide eBay with plenty of m-commerce activity this year, since British consumers are adopting smartphones at a faster rate than many other developed nations, as well as being more willing to use them for safe shopping online.