International remittances provide a significant income for many developing markets. To date the majority of remittances are executed with high commissions paid to service providers based on the relatively high cost profile and low number of competitors who maintain distribution networks. However, mobile money transfer services offered by operators partnered with remittance service providers, can reduce these costs by leveraging mobile operator distribution networks and the ubiquity of mobile access.
Such services have been commerically live since last year with Western Union, but to date significant scale has not been realised. This is primarily due to the rapid development of other, less challenging, mobile money services such as domestic transfers, bill payments and airtime top up. But as these services continue to mature, there is an opportunity for the significant mobile money transfer marke tol begin to prove the mobile money business case.