Study: Apple, Google to help bring mobile social payments to millions

9. February 2018.

A new Juniper Research study predicts 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.

Juniper said in a press release that the increase will be driven by social media apps such as WeChat, Facebook and others already witnessing a dramatic rise in service use, alongside new services including Apple Pay Cash, and Zelle Pay; with leading mobile money services driving growth in emerging markets.

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 as follows:

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

Juniper believes 2018 will be the year for social payments with key roll outs 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,” noted research author Nitin Bhas, in the release.

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

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, opening up the market for faster growth.

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