According to a new study from ABI Research, the market for mobile fund transfers will grow to a revenue opportunity of nearly $8 billion for wireless operators by 2012, from just over $10 million last year.
The high level of adoption and reach of wireless services both geographically and demographically offers mobile operators the ideal opportunity to bring local banking services to millions of people around the world says Jonathan Collins, senior analyst at ABI Research,
He comments: "Mobile operators can tap into and extend long-standing international and national demand for fund transfers around the world by leveraging the networks and handset infrastructure they already have in place to revolutionize access to banking services."
The biggest opportunities lie in under-developed economies with a large unbanked population, he says, and in the growing market for international remittances. However, restrictions on the activities of wireless operators by local banking regulations means that progress will only be achieved by partnering with established financial institutions.