In a new report from Juniper Research it is projected that the number of mobile money transfers globally will increase by nearly 150% in 2015 to more than 13bn, with several social media firms already seeing a dramatic rise in service usage.
The research observes that with US social payment service Venmo now
experiencing traffic worth nearly $1bn per quarter, leading social media companies were now introducing their own services. Snapchat has partnered with Square to deliver a P2P offering, while Facebook launched a US-wide service last month.
Meanwhile, the research found that in China, both WeChat and Alipay saw astonishing spikes in P2P (Person to Person) traffic during February 2015. This was the result of result of ‘red envelope’ P2P gifting activity when WeChat users engaged in more than 3.3 billion P2P transactions in just 6 days over the Chinese New Year period.
In developing markets, the research found that while airtime top up accounted for the largest share of transactions, there had been a significant increase in the deployment and adoption of services such as micro-lending, savings and micro-insurance. It argued that network operators were well positioned to deliver key data for risk assessment in the form of customer top-up histories, social media usage and location data, which could be subjected to analytics to provide information for credit scoring.
Other findings from the report include the fact that there are now 17 markets, the majority in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of mobile wallets exceeds the number of banked individuals, and that service providers are expected to generate $2 billion from mobile money services in 2015, rising to $4 billion by 2018.