More than 700 million people in emerging markets around the world will be using mobile money services in 2015, new research from Berg Insight suggests, as the market grows 40% a year from 2010’s 133m users.
The total value of mobile money transactions, meanwhile, will grow by 54% every year from US$25billion in 2010 to US$215bn in 2015. Asia-Pacific is expected to become the most important regional market, accounting for more than half of the total user base.
“In developing regions such as Africa, the mobile phone will become the primary digital channel for people to conduct financial services in the coming years,” said Berg’s Lars Kurkinen.
“Financial institutions are beginning to realise the importance of mobile phones to reach new clients [and] viewing mobile money services as high-priority strategic projects,” he added. “Also mobile operators and third party service providers are ramping up their efforts to target the huge unbanked populations in emerging market. The number of live mobile money services has thus grown at an explosive rate during the past two years and recently reached as many as 300 commercial deployments.”
The report also identifies mobile international value transfer as a high-growth market and an important revenue source for mobile industry players. Berg Insight estimates that US$16bn of international money transfers will be received using mobile phones in 2015, up from less than US$1bn in 2010. It also forecasts that international airtime transfers will grow by 67% each year from US$130m in 2010 to US$1.67bn in 2015.