With the global recession expected to lead to a contraction in the the number of migrant workers, Juniper Research has slashed its projections for the size of the mobile money transfer market by 50%.
Juniper says the economic downturn is forecast to have an immediate impact on mobile phone-based remittances as migrant workers lose jobs.
"Workers from countries such as India, the Philippines and Mexico are likely to be hit in this way because of the sheer numbers working abroad as expatriates," says Howard Wilcox, Juniper Research.
The worst case forecasts now suggest the market will reach $73 billion by 2011 - down 50% on previous projections, but still a significant rise on current numbers.
Remittance is not the only mobile commerce segment expected to be affected by the recession, with Juniper predicting a slower pace of growth for banking, coupons, ticketing and NFC payments.
However, there will be significant growth over the next five years as user demand picks up, says the analyst house.
In December NatWest became the first UK bank to launch a mobile phone-based international money transfer service for customers, initially targeting polish expats.