Mobile Money Market: A Well-Defined Technological Growth Map With An Impact-Analysis

Where the mobile money market has hitherto been dominated by companies such as Fortumo OÜ, Boku, Inc., WePay, Inc., Square, Inc., and Paypal, the competition is building up dramatically with the advent of new players such as Dwolla, Inc., Bango.net, and Judo payments. According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the market leaders controlled by about 40% of the global mobile money market in 2015.

The way ahead for companies wanting to fortify their presence in the market, evidently, is via acquisitions and by developing feature-rich products and services. With more small- and medium-sized enterprises seeking convenient and secure mobile payment options, companies such as Fortumo OÜ are expected to strengthen their foothold in the market. “Companies’ future strategy, in the short term, will largely be centered on acquiring new customer in Middle East and Europe,” observes a TMR analyst.

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With the explosive growth in emerging economies such as China and India as well as in other countries in Latin America and the Middle East, mobile phone penetration has risen dramatically in recent years. Various reports suggest that in emerging markets, mobile phone penetration hovers around 50%, creating a bevy of opportunities for telecom operators, connected device manufacturers, and service providers to cash in on. Moreover, the report notes that although well over 1.5 billion people in emerging markets today enjoy mobile phone access, the same cannot be said about banking services. Thus, the unmet needs will create a massive opportunity for companies in the mobile money market, opines TMR.

Consumers today are wary of risks such as phishing, data breach, and data manipulation of data. Because mobile money essentially involves the collection of user data from internet touch points, the general concerns associated with online financial transactions are expected to seep into the mobile money environment as well.

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However, in countries where financial inclusion policies are not well-defined and duly implemented could pose numerous challenges for companies in the mobile money market. The situation is further complicated by the fact that governments are currently focused on improving competition in the financial sector to make services more customer-friendly. This approach doesn’t necessarily increase financial inclusion, which can be achieved by prioritizing mobile payments. Factors such as these will create impediments for the growth of the global mobile money market, says TMR.

Based on the mode of payment, the global mobile money market can be segmented into NFC, SMS, mobile billing, USSD/STK, and others. Of these, the SMS payment segment emerged in the leading position in 2015 and will continue to retain its standing through 2024 by rising at the fastest compounded annual growth rate (CAGR), TMR forecasts. The convenience and ease of SMS payments remain unrivalled, making this segment one with a myriad of opportunities.

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Based on the type of purchase, money transfers and payments will not budge from its position as the leading segment in the mobile money market. However, the fastest growth will be observed in the airtime transfers and top-up segment between 2016 and 2024. Likewise, the healthcare industry will emerge as the fastest growing segment in the global mobile money market by industry vertical. However, it is the BFSI sector that will lead maintain a lead in terms of revenue.

In 2015, Europe stood as the largest market for mobile money worldwide – a scenario that will remain unchanged until 2024. The fastest growing segment, by geography, will be the Middle East and Africa with a 23.2% CAGR, says TMR.

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