The poll of 34,000 mobile users in 43 countries reveals that markets such as China, Brazil and Kenya have seen the number of new mobile money users soar over 100% in 12 months while developed nations such as the US and UK are also experiencing strong growth.
Now some of those emerging markets have higher penetration of mobile financial services among consumers than more developed markets.
Mobile wallet usage in Chile was below one per cent in 2010, but has risen to seven per cent this year – just one percentage point below the US and higher than Australia, France and the Netherlands.
There were about 860 million mobile phone accounts in China at the end of 2010, compared to the about 300 million in the U.S. Though it is not uncommon for a Chinese consumer to maintain more than one account for different uses, it is not out of the question that more consumers are using mobile financial services in China than in U.S.
James Fergusson, head, global technology sector, TNS, says: “The past few years have shown us the tremendous potential for emerging markets to ‘leap-frog’ more developed markets in adopting new technology. Our findings from this research suggest that the uptake of mobile banking services is set to follow this trend. In countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Emerging Asia where there is high mobile phone prevalence, the lack of robust financial services and a need for efficient payment methods has contributed to very strong appeal for mobile finance. It’s a logical fit.”
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