A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global number of registered mobile domestic money transfer users is expected to reach 2.5 billion this year, up from an estimated 1.7 billion in 2016.

According to the research, this will be driven by social media apps such as WeChat, Facebook and others already witnessing a dramatic rise in service usage, alongside new services including Apple Pay Cash, and Zelle Pay; with leading mobile money services driving growth in emerging markets.

Apple, Facebook, Google Bring Social Payments to the Masses

Juniper claims that 2018 will be the year for social payments with key rollouts from Apple, Google and Facebook expected to drive the much delayed social payments market, as a subsector of the wider mobile P2P market.

“It was inevitable that players such as Apple would follow in the footsteps of WeChat Pay and AliPay, and offer a universal set of payment features integrating P2P, alongside existing contactless and ticketing functionalities,” said research author Nitin Bhas.

Juniper predicts that the uptake for Apple Pay Cash will be slow in the short term due to a strong banking network in its launch markets. However, the total number of annual transactions for the service will approach 1 billion by 2020.

The new research, Digital Money Transfer & Remittances: Domestic & International Markets 2018-2022, forecasts that by 2018 the global share of domestic money transfer services, by mobile transaction values will be:

  • Domestic P2P: 65%
  • Cash-In: 13%
  • Cash-Out: 11%
  • Bulk Disbursement (G2P): 8%
  • Domestic Airtime Top-Up: 2%

Mobile Money to Reach 1 Billion Registered Users by 2020

Meanwhile, users of mobile money services such as M-PESA, Orange Money, and MTN Money will exceed 1 billion registered users by 2020, driving financial inclusion for the unbanked in emerging markets. Operators are increasingly facilitating service interoperability, both at national and international level, thereby opening up the market for faster growth.

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