Juniper Research: Apple and Google are bringing social payments to the masses

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global number of registered mobile domestic money transfer users is expected to reach 2.5 billion this year, up from an estimated 1.7 billion in 2016.

This will be driven by social media apps such as WeChat, Facebook and others already witnessing a dramatic rise in service usage, alongside new services including Apple Pay Cash, and Zelle Pay; with leading mobile money services driving growth in emerging markets, adds the research group. 

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Juniper believes that 2018 will be the year for social payments with key rollouts from Apple, Google and Facebook expected to drive the much delayed social payments market, as a subsector of the wider mobile P2P market.

“It was inevitable that players such as Apple would follow in the footsteps of WeChat Pay and AliPay, and offer a universal set of payment features integrating P2P, alongside existing contactless and ticketing functionalities,” says research author Nitin Bhas.

Juniper predicts that the uptake for Apple Pay Cash will be slow in the short term due to a strong banking network in its launch markets. However, the total number of annual transactions for the service will approach one billion by 2020.

Apple Pay is currently available in 20 countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, the U.S., Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.