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Phones replacing wallets a not-too-distant future for Jordan — ICT association

By Mohammad Ghazal - Dec 28,2014 - Last updated at Dec 28,2014

AMMAN — Jordanians will join the global trend of using mobile phones to replace their wallets, the ICT Association of Jordan ([email protected]) has said, commenting on a report that 80 per cent of mobile users globally believe smartphones will replace their purse by 2020.

About 48 per cent per cent of smartphone owners globally would rather use their phone to pay for goods and services than using their purse, according to a report by international telecom company Ericsson on “10 hot consumer trends for 2015 and beyond” recently e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

Commenting on the report, Jawad Abbassi, chairman of [email protected], said: “Jordan will certainly be part of this global trend and I expect in the next few years we will see many people using their mobiles to make payments.”

“The Central Bank of Jordan has already endorsed regulations to organise the process and we have [laws] for e-payments and transactions,” Abbassi said in a recent phone interview. 

“In addition, telecom operators have the infrastructure for such services; what remains is to have devices at points of sales to enable payments through mobiles,” he added, noting that increased adoption of Internet-based services is likely to boom in the next few years as more people are connected.

Rafiah Ibrahim, president of Ericsson Middle East Region, agreed, saying consumer trends are moving towards an increasingly connected environment, which is a transformation towards the “Networked Society”. 

“Mobility and connectivity are becoming vital elements to enrich people’s lifestyle, used to elevate all aspects of day-to-day life and the ways in which we interact with our world — and the way it interacts with us in return,” she said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times. 

“With increasing Smart City movements across the Middle East, this region is well positioned to be at the forehead of this transformation and seize the opportunities ahead,” she added.

The trend indicates that three quarters of mobile and Internet users regularly watch streamed videos and that in 2015 more people will watch streamed on-demand video on a weekly basis than broadcast TV.

In Jordan, the situation will be different, said Abbassi.

“Video-on demand in Jordan is very limited to the extent that it does not exist. Only some channels offer video on demand and there are no providers of this service locally,” he noted.

But watching videos on YouTube and WhatsApp and other websites will certainly exceed watching TV channels in Jordan in 2015, according to Abbassi.

“About one-third of Internet traffic in Jordan and the rest of the Middle East countries is for consuming videos, mostly on YouTube,” he said, adding that video will represent the majority of traffic on the Internet in the next few years.

The report by Ericsson’s Consumer Lab’s global research programme, showed that consumers are showing high interest in having home sensors that alert them to water and electricity issues, or when family members come and go.

In addition, consumers believe that traffic volume maps, energy use comparison apps and real-time water quality checkers will be mainstream by 2020, thus turning users into smart citizens, the report said.

“Jordan is expected to be a little bit behind in this regard as the government needs to provide more e-services. We are still at the early stage of e-services and it will take time before we have consumers using apps for most of their transactions and activities,” said Abbassi.

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