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Monday, December 30, 2019

International Money Transfer Innovation Gains Momentum

The advancement of digital Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) continued during the past year, with more offerings, better marketing and an improved international scale. One important way that savvy MTOs are accelerating their transaction growth is by pursuing new business partnerships.

Moreover, the increased use of mobile phones for money transfers is driven by the launch of apps from established MTOs, as well as new offerings from digital MTOs. Mobile subscribers sending international payments are forecast to reach 66 million in 2024 -- that's up from 41.2 million in 2019.

Digital Money Transfer Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, global international digital money transfer transaction volume will reach 2 billion by 2024 -- that's up from 1.1 billion in 2019.

The new research found that both online and mobile channels are achieving strong growth, with fintech disruptors and market incumbents rapidly gaining money transfer transaction traffic.

However, much of this growth will be at the expense of unofficial remittances, such as cash funds sent with traveling family members, rather than utilizing established formal remittance channels.


Juniper recommends that money transfer operators should invest in more digital transformation, while retaining strong agent networks, to ensure that they gain the full benefit of digital migration.

Mobile network service providers will help to enable new growth. The market study found that the mobile channel will account for 68 percent of transaction volume in 2024 -- that's up from 63 percent in 2019.

This increased channel dominance is primarily due to the superior app-based experiences available on mobile devices, rising interoperability of mobile financial services and the lower-cost options introduced by the software app-based fintech disruptors.

"Mobile has become the go-to channel for international money transfer; dominating the digital landscape. This means that incumbents in the area, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, must relentlessly focus on their app experiences; fully embracing digital transformation. A failure to do so will result in a steady erosion of market share by digitally-native disruptors." said Nick Maynard, lead analyst at Juniper Research.

Outlook for International Digital Money Transfer Growth

The Juniper analysts discovered that international digital money transfer, while highly compelling via a digital channel, requires effective agent partnerships in recipient countries to ensure success.

Over time, both ends of the money transfer transaction will be digital; boosted by mobile money interoperability but, for now, retaining a physical 'cash out' location will be crucial to success.

Juniper Research also recommends that money transfer operators make the establishment of new partnerships in emerging markets a high priority, including supermarkets or other in-store retailers.