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Only two days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake leveled Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the American Red Cross raised $7m via text messaging from more than 700,000 wireless customers. Donations poured in from every wireless network. That's admirable, but here's why business should be interested. The Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti signaled a turning point in the history of mobile commerce. "It was a major validation about the possibilities of text and mobile commerce and what we're going to see in the future," says Gartner analyst Jeff Roster.
Consumers have been slowly warming to the idea of zapping money through the air for years, from mobile banking to online shopping to purchasing mobile apps themselves. In fact, some analysts say that this year will be the year of the start of a mobile commerce tidal wave. Gartner predicts mobile app revenue will hit $6.7bn this year, up from $4.2bn last year, and the trend will continue to almost $30bn in 2013.
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