‘Half the world population’ to use mobile wallet by 2025

More than half the world population will use a mobile wallet by 2025, according to new research carried out by Juniper Research.

At the end of 2020, there were over 2.8 billion mobile wallets in use according to the research commissioned by payments FinTech Boku.

That number of mobile wallets is projected to increase by nearly 74 per cent to reach 4.8 billion by the end of 2025 – nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population.

The fastest growing markets are predicted to be Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa and the Middle East.

Mobile wallet use will grow by 311 per cent by 2025 in Southeast Asia – the highest growth of any region in the world - with 439.7 million wallets predicted to be in use across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam by 2025, up from 141.1 million in 2020.

Western Europe and North America are predicted to have the slowest growth when it comes to mobile wallets, growing just 65 per cent and 50 per cent respectively by 2025.

North America will have 275.4 million mobile wallet users by 2025 while Western Europe is predicted to have 331.9 million by the research.

Central and Eastern Europe however are predicted to achieve rapid growth when it comes to mobile payments, growing 26.7 per cent a year to hit 248.9 million by 2025.

The Far East and China continues to be the largest mobile wallet region in the world, with 1.34 billion users in 2020.

However, market saturation is resulting in slowing growth in China, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of just 2.2 per cent per year.

Japan, Korea, and Taiwan will continue to see accelerated adoption of mobile wallets with 98.4 per cent market penetration by 2025 according to the research.

The decline of cash is one of the factors fuelling the adoption of mobile wallets; the use of cash has fallen 54 per cent in the UK during the past ten years according to figures from UK Finance.

“While mobile wallets are being used on a global basis, we see two distinct types being used today. One is card-based mobile wallets, like Apple Pay and Google Pay, which provide an easier way to pay with cards people already have,” said Adam Lee, chief product officer at Boku. “The other is stored value mobile wallets, like AliPay and GrabPay, that enable consumers to transact with digital cash and are popular in emerging markets with fast growing eCommerce sectors.”

“The markets that are set to grow the fastest are those with the lowest levels of card penetration, stored value wallets are thriving. In North America and Western Europe, which are dominated by card-based mobile wallets, we are seeing the slowest growth in mobile wallet adoption, as the technology provides merely incremental benefit.”

He added: “We are seeing clear bifurcation in the market between card-based mobile wallets in developed markets and stored value mobile wallets that are ubiquitous in Asia and rapidly growing in all emerging markets.”

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