Mobile Money a Hit in Emerging Markets

The array of financial services possible via mobile phones is proving so attractive that some developing countries are seeing unprecedented penetration levels of up to one in two mobile subscribers within two to three years from launch.

So says Juniper Research in a new report, Mobile Money Transfers & Remittances: Markets, Forecasts & Vendor Strategies 2011-2015. Regionally, the report identifies that some developing regions will achieve a rate of one in five money service users over the next two years, which, the analyst notes, is a remarkable level of adoption for such new services.

The report cautions, however, that prospective users can be discouraged to join such services if the KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements are too onerous, or simply not achievable.

“Our research found that money transfers, bill payments and airtime top-ups constitute the typical top three mobile money services in an operators portfolio, says Howard Wilcox, senior analyst at Juniper, and author of the report. “Increasingly though, merchant payments are being offered, and operators can, via partnerships with supermarkets for example, enable people to pay for their shopping this way.”

The report also reveals that domestic transfers, airtime top-ups and bill payments account for at least 60 per cent of all mobile money apps. And it forecasts that, following the recession, international mobile money transfer users will more than double by 2013, driven by migrant workers, with services launched by MNOs and remittance hubs for country-specific migration corridors.
The report contains five-year forecasts for all key market parameters, including users, transactions and values for domestic and international transfers, and sophisticated mobile financial services. Additionally the report highlights the conclusions from Junipers analysis of 22 vendors addressing the market, and provides assessments of regional market attractiveness.

There’s more information about the report here.