Study anticipates over half of global population to use mobile wallets by 2025

A study by US mobile payments firm Boku has found that more than one in two people globally will use a mobile wallet by 2025.

The research examined trends and developments across all inhabited continents in relation to payment methods – with the findings showing the cash is becoming increasingly displaced in a world of mobile and card-based payments.

Based on the expected uptake of mobile wallets going forward, the study anticipates an increase of 2.7bn to 4.8bn users of mobile wallets globally in the new four years.

Boku expects Southeast Asia to lead the way in mobile wallet growth, with a 25.5% compound annual growth rate anticipated alongside overall growth of 311% in the next five years. The company cites the rise in e-commerce and the dominance of super-apps in markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines as some of the key drivers of wallet adoption.

Latin America, Africa and the Middle East are also expected to see strong uptake in mobile wallets, with LatAm predicted 166% growth and Africa and the Middle East estimated to achieve 147% in growth by 2025.

Boku highlighted that in Africa and the Middle East, adoption is being driven by the growing usage of mobile money services.

In contrast, uptake of mobile wallets in Western Europe and North America are expected to grow more slowly by 2025 at 65% and 50%, respectively.

The company claims this is a result of high levels of card penetration and contactless usage at physical points of sale.

However, Boku did mention that the UK market is seeing a spike in card-based mobile wallets due to the adoption of contactless due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to this, the firm believes that three-quarters of Europeans will be using a digital wallet by 2025.

Boku CEO Jon Prideaux said, “We are witnessing a paradigm shift in payments driven by mobile wallets. Mobile wallets have lowered the barrier to making digital payments and ushered billions of new consumers into e-commerce. These consumers are not in North America or Western Europe, they are in emerging markets, and while they don’t have credit cards, they overwhelmingly have mobile wallets.

“For global merchants, mobile payment acceptance is not about accepting one type of mobile wallet or another but ensuring that consumers in every market will have the required selection on payment types in order to monetize transactions.”

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