Social media to drive m-money transfer market


Mobile money transfers to hit 13 billion transactions this year

Transfers of money on mobile devices is set to rocket to 13 billion transactions this year, increasing by nearly 150% in 2015, with several social media firms already seeing a dramatic rise in service usage.

Social media is the cause of the huge rise in social media mobile money transfers, according to a study from Juniper Research.

New research has stated that with US social payment service Venmo experiencing traffic worth nearly $1 billion per quarter, major social media companies are 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 six days over the Chinese New Year period.

Juniper also found that service providers are expected to generate $2 billion from mobile money services this year, rising to $4 billion by 2018.

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.

According to research author Dr Windsor Holden: “The beauty of mobile-based micro-insurance is that, for the first time, the unbanked can be afforded protection against natural disasters. Without it, a farmer suffering crop failure could lose his livelihood.”

Also in the developing world, there are now 17 markets, the majority in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of mobile wallets exceeds the number of banked individuals.


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