A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total value of mobile money transactions in emerging markets will exceed $870 billion in 2026, up from $555 billion in 2021; representing growth of almost 60%.
Mobile money in emerging markets includes microinsurance, microloans, microsavings and mobile money transfer.
This growth, according to the report, will be driven by the transition of mobile money vendors, such as M-PESA, to the PaaP (Payments-as-a-Platform) model.
This PaaP model enables mobile money vendors to offer their users access to third-party services such as eCommerce; creating additional revenue streams.
The research, Mobile Money in Emerging Markets: Segment Analysis, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, identified PaaP as critical to increasing revenue for mobile money vendors, as smartphone adoption and user expectations grow.
It therefore recommends that mobile money vendors focus on building their ecosystems now by agreeing merchant partnerships to correctly leverage this opportunity.
Microloans is Fastest-growing Segment
The new research found that microloans will be the fastest-growing segment within mobile money, with growth of over 180% over the next five years.
It identified microloans as a key way in which mobile money service providers can increase their revenue by delivering banking-like services.
Research co-author Damla Sat explained: “While microloans are, by their very nature, small-scale, they are growing rapidly in significance, by enabling users to access credit as financial inclusion rises. By offering these services to users, mobile money services can pre‑empt competition from banks, while increasing their average revenue per user; creating a virtuous circle.”
Africa & Middle East in the lead
The research found that Africa and the Middle East will dominate mobile money transaction values over the next 5 years; accounting for 56% of the global emerging markets value by 2026.
It recommends that vendors in Africa focus on expanding sophisticated mobile money services, such as microinsurance and microsavings, in order to best address this rapidly growing opportunity.
In Ghana, mobile money transactions in the third quarter of 2021 reached more then 1.27 billion; and in 2020, the value of mobile money transactions in the country, as reported by the central bank, crossed GHS500 billion, compared to GH¢78 billion five years prior.
In terms of linkages to payment platforms, Ghana now has the most successful interoperability platform that allows cross network/platform transfers, plus all merchants, big and small, online and offline, are fast adopting digital payments as a culture. So, it is now almost a given that any merchant is willing and able to accept mobile money payments.
With regards to microloans, there are three main microloan products on the mobile money platform – XpressLoan from Ecobank, AhomkaLoan and QWIKLOAN, all of which are doing great lending millions to small business across the country. The challenges, however, has been a significant slack in repayment of those loans.
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