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All areas of mobile money, including carrier billing, proximity payments, P2P transfers and services for the unbanked are showing growth. Below we’ve assembled 13 industry stats and facts that show exactly how that growth has taken shape over the last three months and how some analysts forecast the mobile money future.

Containing news, analysis and insights, MEF’s latest Mobile Money Bulletin can be downloaded here.

  1. IDC forecasts worldwide mobile payments will account for $1 trillion USD in value in 2017, up 124 per cent from the less than $500 billion USD expected in 2015. Asia/Pacific markets will contribute to this growth greatly as mobile commerce transactions with remote payments take off across the region.
  1. Research from Lloyds Bank shows that 43 per cent of Brits see contactless payments as the payment method of the future, whilst one in three (34 per cent) expect to be using a mobile device on a day-to-day basis to make payments within the next five years.
  1. Contactless mobile payments will reach 200 million by 2016 as Apple Pay boosts awareness, equal to growth of more than 100 per cent from the end of 2014 – Juniper.
  1. Starbucks continues to be the poster boy for in-store mobile transactions. On its last earnings call (July 2015) chief executive Howard Schultz revealed that the coffee chain is processing nearly nine million mobile payments a week across its US locations, representing 20 per cent of all in-store transactions.


Wearables are increasingly popular with consumers and trends indicate that they are quickly becoming an option for making proximity payments.

  1. Smartwatches and other wearables are just getting started. Tractica predicts that wearable payments could grow from $3.1bn in 2015 to $501.1bn by 2020.
  1. This study by Vista Retail indicates that 72 per cent of consumers surveyed believe wearable technology is the future of in-store shopping, making it easier to access product information, receive offers and navigate around a store. A further 81 per cent cite speed at the checkout as the main advantage.
  1. The watch wins. 80 per cent of Apple Watch owners in this study from Wristly have used their watch to pay for something, whilst just 20 per cent have used an iPhone 6.

Mobile first countries continue to leapfrog established economies in their adoption of mobile money services.

  1. mobile-money-nigeriaStatistics from the Central Bank of Kenya indicate that Kenyans used mobile devices to transfer over KShs 1 trillion ($9.5bn) between January and June this year.
  1. And according to MarketsandMarkets, the entire African mobile money market is set to grow from $2.73 Billion in 2015 to $14.27 Billion by 2020.
  1. Mobile payments in India are predicted to grow 200 times over the next seven years to $3 trillion or a full 10 per cent of the total payments in the country, which was just 0.1% in financial year 2015.

At the same time P2P payments are being increasingly captured by the highly competitive chat app market.

  1. P2P Mobile money transfers will rise by 150 per cent this year to 13bn transactions by the end of 2015. That’s according to Juniper Research indicating that social media and messaging firms like SnapChat, WeChat and Facebook that are pushing in to the space are driving this growth.

Whilst carrier billing was the first method available to consumers for buying things like ring tones and wallpapers now it is directly relevant for the mobile app age as a low friction way for consumers to pay for apps in app stores and purchases within them.

  1. App stores are on board – Mozilla, Google Play, Amazon and Microsoft app stores (though notably not in Apple’s) all offer Carrier Billing as a way to purchase apps and their related content. There are 65 telecoms operators in 32 countries listed in the Google Play alone.
  1. Global carrier billing revenue is expected to increase to $24.7 billion in 2019 from the $14.5 billion the industry saw in 2014, driven by integration with apps stores according to this study from Neomobile and Ovum.

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