Regional activity from and within Western Europe will see it account for the largest remittance volumes
According to a new report from Juniper Research, it has being forecast that international remittances worth nearly $55bn will be enabled through mobile devices in 2016, up from below $12bn this year.
Growth is currently being driven by mobile remittances sent by migrant workers in regions such as the US-Mexico corridor and transfers across Africa and the Middle East, as migrant workforce sends money back home from foreign lands.
However, this report foresees regional activity from and within Western Europe, which will see this region account for the largest remittance volumes by the end of the forecast period.
The report, entitled ‘Mobile Money Transfer & Remittances: Business Models & Monetisation Opportunities’, also highlights the opportunity presented in the medium term by the "trickle-down" of smartphone features and functionality into mass market feature phones, such as touchscreen interfaces, apps and Internet access.
Report author Dr Windsor Holden says in markets with low literacy levels, money transfer applications on the handset based around easily recognisable icons may gain a far wider usage than services based around text-based menus.
Service deployments are expected to gain impetus with the increased utilisation of multilateral hubs between MNOs and third parties, which connect both sending and receiving channels on a single platform. This ensure reduction of the time to deployment, as each MNO is required to connect to a hub only once to send/receive remittances and does not have to spend additional time on agreements.
However, the report warns that the lack of regulatory engagement with service providers in many jurisdictions will continue to impede service deployment and adoption of both domestic and international remittance services.