Safaricom : Revenues from mobile money transfers to reach $4bn by 2018

Operators are benefiting from the boom in mobile money transfer services with $2bn in revenues forecast for this year and $4bn annually 2018, according to Juniper Research.

Africa is set as the leading market, as several African mobile operators are now generating more than 10% of their revenues from mobile money.

Safaricom's MPESA service recorded mobile money revenues of more than $330m in the latest financial year, making it the most successful mobile or online money transfer service worldwide.

According to the research, recent surges in both transaction volumes and values were being driven by increased implementation of both cross-border and intra-national remittance interoperability. The research cited the traffic uplifts engendered by recent agreements between Safaricomand MTN (for the Rwanda-Kenya corridor) and by national interoperability agreements in markets such as Tanzania and Pakistan.

However, the research cautioned that while inadequate regulation still constrained growth in a number of markets, in many cases low adoption or activity rates could be attributed to poor decision making by service providers.

Dr Windsor Holden , author of the research, said: "There are too many instances where service marketing is inappropriate or incorrectly targeted; where the message simply isn't reaching the desired audience."

The research, Mobile Money Transfer and Remittance: Domestic and International Markets 2015-2020, also observed that in Nigeria, a number of services had failed to gain repeat usage because of the high cash-out fees, while savings accounts in other markets had withdrawal fees that were inappropriate for low-income users or savers.