The United Nations (UN) highlighted the growing influence of mobile and digital payments for both developing and developed markets in its Information Economy Report 2017.
In the document the UN pointed to a number of reports predicting the likely strong growth trajectory of mobile-based financial transactions compared to legacy transaction methods.
The organisation cited figures from payment card processor Worldpay – dating back to 2015 – stating the use of mobile and other electronic payments would overtake credit cards by 2019.
It also highlighted the growing popularity of electronic wallets (e-wallets), both mobile and PC-based, for international remittance services, though noted the progress of these services was being hampered in some markets by interoperability issues.
In the report, the UN stated: “The uptake of debit and credit cards as well as innovative online and mobile payment methods has grown over time.”
“In 2014, credit and debit cards accounted for more than half of all e-commerce payments in value terms. However, their share is expected to drop to 46 per cent by 2019, as e-wallets and other alternative payment methods (such as mobile money) gain in importance.”
“In developed regions, digital payments are dominated by credit and debit cards, followed by e-wallets. In developing countries, by contrast, credit cards are rarely the most important payment method for e-commerce, and the uptake of digital payments is often low.”
It went on to highlight the successes seen in some developing markets with mobile money services, including the often-used example of m-Pesa in Kenya.