New market research is pointing to a huge opportunity in mobile money transfers, particularly in Africa. In a new report, Juniper Research suggests that mobile service providers stand to make $2 billion from this area this year, and that annual revenues will grow to reach $4 billion by 2018.
In Africa, service providers like MTN Uganda and Vodacom Tanzania are already making 10 percent of their revenues from mobile money transfers, while the leading company in this area, Safaricom with its MPESA service, made $330 million last year.
Juniper Research credits the booming numbers to cross-border agreements remittance agreements, both between service providers and governments; and also to the increasing deployment of smartphone applications, which are to some extent anticipating greater smartphone adoption going forward.
While the report also identifies obstacles in the areas of inappropriate marketing and fees, the overall trends are encouraging. And as more users around the world perform banking transactions on their mobile devices, and major mPayment platforms further popularize and normalize such transactions, we might expect to see further propulsion in the global mobile money transfer market going forward.