A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the value of domestic money transfers, including operator money and social media money services, will reach $520 billion in mobile transactions by 2018, up nearly 200% from an estimated $178 billion last year.
According to the new research by 2018 the share of domestic money transfer services, by mobile transaction values are forecast to be: domestic P2P: 45%; Cash-In: 21%; Cash-Out: 17%; Bulk Disbursement (G2P): 14%; and Domestic Airtime Top-Up: 2%. Typically P2P (person to person) domestic transfers show higher usage in developing markets, including M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Orange Money and MTN Mobile Money, supplemented by users making social transfers in developed markets via services such as Venmo and WeChat.
However, the bulk of activity is currently occurring via WeChat and Alipay within China, with growth fostered by “red envelope” promotions at the Lunar New Year. Juniper Research says that over-regulation continues to be a key inhibitor in the licensing process for mobile money services.
“This can be complex, both in terms of the number and nature of licenses that are required by service providers. Additionally, the services which the national government (often via its central bank) will permit a service provider to offer vary significantly” notes author Nitin Bhas.
In some markets, regulations for mobile money transfer may simply not have been defined, or may be in the process of being defined and then applied retrospectively. Furthermore, existing rules may stipulate that only financial institutions may possess money licences, thereby inhibiting the opportunity for players such as MNO (Mobile Network Operators). Other key findings from the Juniper Research study:
° In 2015, Africa & Middle East had 235 million registered mobile money users, representing the largest share of the global market.
° International remittances via mobile will exceed $25 billion by 2018, driven by higher value mobile transactions.