Juniper: Operators Target the Underbanked


Hampshire, UK - 16th April 2012:  A new report from Juniper Research has found that the number of consumers using mobile handsets to make P2P (Person to Person) domestic money transfers will reach 340 million by 2016, up from 84 million last year.

Juniper's new ‘Mobile Money Transfer & Remittances' study found that following the success of Safaricom's MPESA service in Kenya, both network operators and financial service providers in developing markets are increasingly using mobile distribution mechanisms as a means of enabling unbanked/underbanked consumers to access financial services for the first time.

As the report observed, such services provide MNOs faced with flatlining revenues from voice and data services with the opportunity to deliver a service which can not only deliver a significant uplift to ARPU but which also acts as a customer retention tool. For financial service providers, they offer the potential of attracting new customers with the potential of subsequently upselling more sophisticated products such as insurance and savings accounts.

Regulatory requirements can constrain growth

However, the report cautioned that the success of money transfer services was dependent upon incumbent regulatory regimes being conducive to service deployments. Furthermore, it added that while the complexity of regulation can slow down service deployment, its requirements can also act as a brake on service adoption.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "Our primary interviews confirmed that in developing countries with previously unbanked customers, it is essential that the customer sign up process takes only a short time. Customers are very easily discouraged from subscribing to services by overbearing KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, particularly if this is their first contact with a financial service."

Other findings from the report include:

  • The average size of a domestic remittance transaction via mobile was $22 in 2011
  • To boost initial service adoption and enable critical mass, providers should allow unregistered users to receive remittances.
  • Lack of money transfer service interoperability continues to act as hurdle to adoption.

The whitepaper, "Moving Money Via Mobile", is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report, "Mobile Money Transfer & Remittances: Business Models & Monetisation Opportunities".

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

For further details please contact Jess Hanslip, Press Relations

T: +44(0)1256 830001     


Juniper Research was founded in 2001 by the Wireless Industry Consultant Tony Crabtree, in the midst of the telecoms and dot-com crash. The business was fully incorporated in February of 2002 and has since grown to become one of the leading analyst firms in the wireless sector.

Juniper specialises in identifying and appraising new high growth market sectors within the mobile ecosystem. Market sizing and forecasting are the cornerstones of our offering, together with competitive analysis, strategic assessment and business modelling.

We endeavour to provide independent and impartial analysis of both current and emerging opportunities via a team of dedicated specialists - very knowledgeable, experienced and experts in their field.

In terms of structure, Juniper is organised along five main streams:

Mobile Content & Applications

Mobile Commerce

Handsets & Devices

Mobile Markets & Strategies

Networks & Technologies

Each stream offers a blend of blogs, free whitepapers and paid-for research - normally in the form of research reports, strategic briefings and databases. Clients range from mobile operators and service providers through to content providers, vendors and financial institutions. Juniper's client base spans the globe, with the majority of its clients in North America, the Far East and Europe.