Using mobile phones to pay for good and services rather than cash, cheques or cards, will be commonplace by 2016, says PayPal.

According to the online payment firm's Money: The Digital Tipping Point report, which features research conducted by Forrester, 45 million Brits use a mobile phone and nearly half of the 55 surveyed (49 percent) said they would consider using their handset to purchase goods or services at least once every three months.

UK mobile retail sales are estimated to hit £2.5bn in 2016, with 14 million adults regularly shopping from their mobiles. The research also revealed that by 2014, nearly two in five (39 percent) of US and European consumers will be using the mobile web.

"We'll see a huge change over the next few years in the way we shop and pay for things. By 2016, you'll be able to leave your wallet at home and use your mobile as the 21st century digital wallet," said Carl Scheible, managing director of PayPal UK.

"Our vision of money is to enable you to pay for something from wherever you are, whatever device you're on – a PC, mobile phone, tablet, games console and a whole lot more."

Furthermore, PayPal revealed over a million Brits that use the online payments service have sent a payment from their mobile. PayPal also said it expects to process more than $3.5bn in mobile payments this year. That's five times the amount it processed in 2010.

According to Scheible, 2016 will mark the real start of money's digital switchover in the UK.

"We're not saying cash will disappear entirely, but we'll increasingly use our phones and other devices rather than our wallets to pay in-store as well as online," he added.

As well as paying for goods without having to queue, the report reveals shoppers can look forward to being able to carry digital loyalty cards, promotional offers and receipts on their phones – keeping everything in one place creating a virtual shopping hub.