A new report claims that by 2017, payments made using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices will reach a total of at least $1 trillion worldwide.

The report, by independent market analyst IDC Financial Insight, predicts that spending by mobile will continue to grow over a five year period between now and 2017 among both businesses and consumers.

Included in the $1 trillion plus total anticipated by the report are straightforward distance selling transactions (m-commerce) – both for goods and services – as well as transactions facilitated via near field communications (NFC) technology, whereby radio waves from mobile devices are used to register purchases at specially enabled retail points.

The total expenditure predicted in the report also covers straightforward monetary transfers via mobile devices with no corresponding supply of goods or services in return.

Analysing the forecasted expenditure further, the report says that m-commerce will account for most of its predicted total.

Within the m-commerce sphere, the report also includes e-commerce – whereby goods and services are purchased over the internet using a web-enabled mobile device – together with payments for music files and other digital downloads.

IDC says that the next largest share of the predicted $1 trillion plus expenditure will come from NFC.

The third most popular use of mobile devices will, the report says, be in the form of person to person monetary transfers.

IDC says however that this aspect of mobile payment activity could be slower to take off, owing to cross-border transfer complications and too few facilities for withdrawing the necessary funds.