However, the report claimed that regulatory complexity had been the primary obstacle, as the author of the report Dr Windsor Holden observed that: “Service providers must first obtain licences for each remittance corridor; they face due diligence and risk assessment checks, which may in turn oblige them to introduce additional mechanisms to address any issues which emerge. All these processes are time consuming and expensive.”
Even though the international cash remittance growth has been slow, transaction volumes have surged in the airtime topup market, where service providers are not required to obtain money licences. The report found that average annual airtime topups across key remittance corridors were in excess of average individual mobile spend levels in receiving countries, thereby covering recipient telecommunications bills for the year.
The report said nearly 400 million mobile phone users worldwide are expected to use their handsets for mobile money transfer by 2018; and in sub-Saharan Africa, mobile money taxes are threatening the growth of domestic money transfer services.