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P2P payment through social media expected to grow

The number of person-to-person (P2P) payments via social media is expected to ramp up a level over the coming 12 months, according to Juniper Research.

A new report from the analyst group, entitled Digital Payment Strategies: Online, Mobile & Contactless 2016-2020, argued that digital eCommerce on social media activity would increasingly extend into the P2P payments space. The study cited the example of WeChat in China, which saw more than 32 billion 'red envelope' monetary gifts sent in a six-day period in February, and claimed that other dominant players in social media could leverage their ubiquity in a similar way.

Research author Dr Windsor Holden, head of consultancy & forecasting at Juniper, commented: "Facebook has already rolled out a P2P service linked to its Messenger service in the US, and we would expect additional deployments in other core markets over the next year or so."

Juniper also pointed out that several leading companies in the social space, including Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, have recently introduced 'buy' buttons, which allow users to make purchases directly from the companies' mobile apps via a limited number of clicks.

The focus on social selling was part of a wider look at digital payments, with the report predicting that online, mobile and contactless payments will reach $3.6 trillion this year, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

It is anticipated that while cards will account for 90% of contactless payments over the next five years, the deployment of near field communication technology for payments by high-profile players such as Apple and Samsung will drive further adoption of mCommerce.

The research also forecast that mobile wallet adoption would continue to accelerate in developing markets, with nearly 20 countries across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa now having more mobile money accounts than bank accounts. It stated that as wallet users reached a critical mass in these markets, service providers were introducing more sophisticated payment services such as loans and micro-insurance, which as a result has hastened the drive towards financial inclusivity for those without bank accounts.

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Juniper Research