Middle East and Africa mobile banking users are expected to skyrocket from 19.8 million to 82.1 million users by 2017. Over the last five years, the developing world has experienced substantial growth in the adoption of mobile technology.
Emerging markets not only offer new possibilities for traditional banking but major potential for revolutionary banking.
As per Juniper research, there will be over 1 billion mobile banking users by the end of 2017, compared to just over 590 million this year. Whilst the forecast of 1 billion users by 2017 represents just under 15% of the mobile subscriber base, around half of all mobile subscribers remain unbanked, with limited access to traditional financial services.
The MEA markets promise high growth rates in mobile penetration and e-commerce not only because penetration is still lower than the global average, but also the population is much younger and enthusiastic. Those markets will drive the mobile boom next five years, but when it comes to e-commerce and digital payments, the richer Gulf countries seem to be leading the way to the high-tech payment methods.
Monitise (formerly Pozitron), a leading mobile technology company who has just aggressively entered the MEA market, reports that the users in GCC countries are already used to some ways of digital payment, but still very skeptical about paying digitally for online purchases.
According to the below infographic from Monitise, mobile penetration in GCC is expected to grow by 180% whereas mobile purchases in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will not reach even 40% by the end of the year.
However, the company believes that the willingness to adopt mobile payments is really high in the region, with 3 out 5 people ready for it provided that the security concerns are eliminated.
The Monitise Mobile Money Landscape report is available for download via the following link