In Western countries like the U.S. and U.K., mobile payment is a fairly new concept that is just starting to gain traction. But for regions of the world that are less economically advanced, this "new" system is actually old news - TechCrunch noted that while 85 percent of iPhone 6 owners have yet to utilize Apple Pay, 59 percent of Kenyans regularly use a comparable mobile money system, called M-PESA.
So why has the developed world lagged in this regard? The source remarked that the platforms are not tied to a bank account, which makes them more desirable for people in areas of the world where banking is not so common due to lack of financial infrastructure. In contrast, Americans, Europeans and other players in the global economy have found such services less trustworthy than traditional banking due to security concerns, according to the ING International Survey on Mobile Banking.
First world set to widely adopt mobile payments
Despite economic powerhouses largely ignoring mobile money historically, 2015 figures to be a breakout year for the industry. ING found that 84 percent of polled Europeans said they planned on using physical cash less than they currently do over the course of the next year, and the source expects to see an 18 percent increase in usage across the continent. People in Turkey reported the highest expected rate, with 78 percent of respondents indicating they would use mobile payments this year. TechCrunch stated that over $7.5 billion was transferred through money mobile systems in December 2014 alone, showing the huge opportunity presented by the use of the technology.
Importance for migrant workers globally
TechCrunch said that a big contributor to the growth of the industry is the propensity for migrant workers for send money back home to their families. It's never been easier for families living in different countries who need to transfer cash back and forth to do so, instead of having to use expensive - and insecure - transfer agents or physically sending cash in an envelope. While this isn't a big concern for most people who live in the U.S. or Europe, it's still a good showcase for the abilities mobile payments can offer. A person in, say, Cincinnati can send money to someone living in Brazil or Sweden at the touch of a button, and this level of convenience is being noticed by mobile owners worldwide. It won't be long before the strategies employed by economically underdeveloped countries are embraced by the first world.