Social payments predicted to fuel money transfer explosion this year
Money transfers poised to grow by half this year, thanks to social payments.
An explosion of growth (47%) is headed to the world of money transfers, and that’s not even taking into account the potential of blockchain technology to reshape the entire electronic payment landscape, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The number of mobile domestic money transfer users is pegged to advance from 2016’s total of 1.7 billion to 2.5 billion in 2018.
The surge in growth is attributed to the fast-rising popularity of social media features that allow people to transfer money to others through messages or within apps. There are nearly as many mobile phones (88%) as there are people in the world, but almost a quarter of people globally have no bank account. As a result, mobile money services have more than tripled since 2010, from fewer than 75 to 274 in October 2017. Most of these companies serve Africa and the Middle East, followed by Asia-Pacific, but several offer their services in the US or globally.
The analysts expect Apple, Facebook and Google to follow the lead of Alipay and WeChat Pay in China to bring social payments to the masses. For Apple Pay Cash in particular, Juniper projects adoption to hit 1 billion users by 2020. However, it only works if both the sender and receiver live in the US. To send money across borders, compare the leading providers and their rates using our list of global money transfer apps.
The trend is also being fueled by greater acceptance of transfers within mobile banking apps. In the US, half of mobile banking users move money between their accounts, and the popularity of the money transfer feature is second only to keeping tabs on account balances.
The future also holds massive potential for innovative blockchain solutions, as Juniper found that almost a third (30%) of all proposed use cases focused on settlement of fund transfers and payments. Learn more about how the blockchain and cryptocurrencies intend to change the way we transfer money by reading our guides, or check out specific payment-centric cryptocurrencies like Ripple and Stellar Lumens.