A new Juniper Research study forecasts that the use of mobile devices to make retail and store payments will act as a driver for financial inclusion of the unbanked in emerging markets. The research predicts mobile merchant transactions by unbanked individuals will grow from 1.8 billion per year in 2018 to 3.8 billion by 2023, according to a press release.
The new research, Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets: Mobile Money, Loans, Savings & Insurance 2018-2023, finds that Kenya and India will be core incubator markets for merchant services. Safaricom’s Lipa Na M-Pesa product already has over 100,000 merchants enrolled, and by 2023, merchant payment transactions in the Middle East and Africa alone will surpass $16 billion per annum.
The research singled out Mastercard as a key innovator in the sector. The company has launched a QR code-based solution with the aim of connecting 40 million micro and small merchants to its payments network by the end of 2020.
“Previously merchant payments relied upon SMS to facilitate transactions, with customers texting a code to initiate payment; thus the process was slow and inefficient,” Juniper research author Lauren Foye said in the release. “With QR code solutions, shoppers simply scan a merchant code to rapidly initiate the payment process.”