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5G SIM cards to enable crypto-currency payments in 5 years


By 2025, half of smartphone owners who do not have a bank account will use a mobile-accessible crypto-currency account for their day-to-day financial transactions.

This was the word from Miriam Burt, managing VP at Gartner, delivering a keynote presentation titled: “Gartner’s Strategic Predictions for 2020 and Beyond”, at Oracle OpenWorld 2020. Hundreds of delegates from across the globe filled the auditorium at the Dubai Trade Centre Arena this week.

To remain competitive and optimise customer satisfaction, financial leaders responsible for digital commerce must anticipate the future of consumer payments that is centred on crypto-currency, she noted.

As the crypto space rapidly matures across the globe, payments of the future have the potential to be entirely cashless, with crypto-currencies expected to transition into a new role in financial services, predominantly targeting the unbanked population.


“In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, two-thirds of people have no bank accounts; however, more than half of the countries have a mobile subscriber penetration rate of 70% of the population. This means we have more people who have phones than bank accounts. An estimated 23% of these people are under-banked, so they have access to smartphones, but don’t have access to traditional financial services.”

This will create huge opportunity for crypto-currencies to be at the centre of mobile payment and digital wallets, to increase financial inclusion initiatives not only across MENA, but also globally, Burt pointed out.

She predicted China would be at the forefront of this service offering.

“China Telecom is one of the largest operators in China and they are working on huge blockchain projects which use 5G SIM cards to trade in crypto-currency. If they pull this off, the platform is going to be the largest in the world. This will have superior safety features which will become standard, such as digital authentication and decentralised authentication, to enable these kinds of crypto unit transactions.”

According to research firm Statista, 72% of e-commerce sales will take place on a mobile device by 2021.

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