NEEDHAM, Mass. - The volume of person-to-person payments on the Internet will grow from 42 million last year and an estimated 100 million this year to more than four billion by 2005, a report from TowerGroup says.

More than 95% of the payments in 2005 will be for auctions, the report says.

Providers are not charging for person-to-person payments now, but the report says the business could become profitable and that early leadership will position providers for a larger role.

Elizabeth Beth Robertson, a senior analyst at TowerGroup, warned: "Rapid new account acquisition has supplied the market with a deceptive indicator of Internet P-to-P potential. Though there are reasons for providers to consider offering P-to-P payment, entry should be evaluated with the context of the market's true potential."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.