The number of users utilizing mobile money transfer services is expected to grow from just under 150 million this year to almost 400 million by 2018, Juniper Research is forecasting.
The research firm expects that the growth will primarily come from deployments of domestic money transfer services, with multinational network operators increasingly launching products on a group-wide rather than an ad hoc basis.
The report stressed the importance of an extensive agent network, saying that the subscriber ratio should be no greater than 1:500 to ensure a high proportion of active users.
However, Juniper is cautioning against the imposition of taxes on mobile money services, such as those recently introduced in Kenya and Uganda. In Kenya the impact was limited, but the report author Dr Windsor Holden says that this is because Kenya is the most mature mobile money market. In comparison, the introduction of a similar tax in a market in the early stages of service adoption could serve as a severe brake on growth.