Mobile payments set to take off in emerging markets, Berg finds

Google may have just unveiled its preliminary plans to bring contactless mobile payments to the U.S., but mobile payments in using various technologies are prime to blow up in several other markets around the world as well. Swedish wireless analyst firm Berg Insight on Thursday issued a report on mobile money in emerging markets, and the group believes adoption will skyrocket over the next four years. In 2010 there were 133 million people in emerging markets who used their cell phones to move money or pay for goods and services. That number is set to grow an average of 40% each year to reach 709 million in 2015, the firm believes. Over that same period, the total value of mobile payment transactions will balloon from $25 billion in 2010 to $215 billion in 2015. “In developing regions such as Africa the mobile phone will become the primary digital channel for people to conduct financial services in the coming years,” said Telecom Analyst Lars Kurkinen. “Financial institutions are beginning to realize the importance of mobile phones to reach new clients viewing mobile money services as high-priority strategic projects. Also mobile operators and third party service providers are ramping up their efforts to target the huge unbanked populations in emerging markets.” Hit the break for Berg’s full release.

Berg Insight predicts 709 million mobile money users in emerging markets by 2015

Gothenburg, Sweden – May 26, 2011: According to a new research report by Berg Insight, the number of mobile money subscribers in emerging markets is forecasted to grow from 133 million users in 2010 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent to reach 709 million users in 2015. The total value of mobile money transactions will simultaneously grow at a CAGR of 54 percent from US$ 25 billion in 2010 to US$ 215 billion in 2015. Asia-Pacific is expected to become the most important regional market, accounting for more than half of the total user base.

“In developing regions such as Africa the mobile phone will become the primary digital channel for people to conduct financial services in the coming years. Financial institutions are beginning to realize the importance of mobile phones to reach new clients viewing mobile money services as high-priority strategic projects. Also mobile operators and third party service providers are ramping up their efforts to target the huge unbanked populations in emerging markets”, said Lars Kurkinen, Telecom Analyst, Berg Insight. “The number of live mobile money services has thus grown at an explosive rate during the past two years and recently reached as many as 300 commercial deployments.”

The report also identifies mobile international value transfer as a high-growth market and an important revenue source for mobile industry players. Berg Insight estimates that US$ 16 billion worth of international money transfers will be received using mobile phones in 2015, up from less than US$ 1 billion in 2010. Berg Insight also forecasts that international airtime transfers will grow at a CAGR of 67 percent from US$ 130 million in 2010 to reach US$ 1.67 billion in 2015.

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