Mobile money, also referred to as mobile payment, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet generally refer to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Instead of paying with cash, cheque, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods. Although the concept of using non-coin-based currency systems has a long history, it is only recently that the technology to support such systems has become widely available.
Mobile payment is being adopted all over the world in different ways. In 2008, the combined market for all types of mobile payments was projected to reach more than $600B globally by 2013, which would be double the figure as of February, 2011. The mobile payment market for goods and services, excluding contactless Near field communication or NFC transactions and money transfers, is expected to exceed $300B globally by 2013.
In developing countries mobile payment solutions have been deployed as a means of extending financial services to the community known as the “unbanked” or “underbanked,” which is estimated to be as much as 50% of the world’s adult population, according to Financial Access’ 2009 Report “Half the World is Unbanked”. These payment networks are often used for micropayments. The use of mobile payments in developing countries has attracted public and private funding by organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development and Mercy Corps.