Around the world, the number of registered users of mobile domestic money transfer services is expected to reach 2.5 billion this year, up from an estimated 1.7 billion in 2016.
That’s according to a new study from Juniper Research, which says that the growth is being driven by social media apps like Facebook and WeChat, alongside other new payment services.
In the United States, research by Mercator Advisory Group reveals that nearly three in five consumers and four in five young adults use person-to-person (P2P) payment services such as PayPal, Venmo, Google Wallet, Facebook Messenger, and others accessible online and in-app by mobile devices.
What’s more, nearly half of consumers use a P2P service at least once a month. Among young adults, 58% use a P2P service at least once a month and 28% use it weekly or more often.
Using a P2P payment service is becoming a common way to pay back family and friends, to split the bill at restaurants or events when purchasing with a group, to pay rent or other household bills, and even to pay at a checkout in some stores and for more convenient payment from mobile devices, Mercator said.
The rise of P2P money transfers reflects the increasing popularity of mobile banking.
A separate US survey by Bankrate confirms that in the decade or so since smartphones were introduced, consumers have largely embraced using their mobile device to take care of their finances.
In fact, 63% of smartphone users have at least one financial app. The average user has 2.5 financial apps, and among young adults the average is 3.6.
Full-service banking apps are the most common financial apps, followed by P2P payment apps and standalone budgeting and investing apps.