According to the GSMA’s annual State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2023, mobile money services are growing faster than anticipated worldwide, particularly in Africa.
The report, which is published annually by the GSMA and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, demonstrates that the rates of adoption are even quicker than expected, with the number of registered mobile money accounts growing by 13 per cent year on year, from 1.4 billion in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2022.
Mobile money has become an increasingly popular way to access financial services in Africa due to the continent’s high mobile phone penetration. In 2022, daily transactions via mobile money in Africa reached $3.45 billion, exceeding the $3 billion amount predicted in 2021. The total transaction value for mobile money grew by an impressive 22 per cent between 2021 and 2022, from $1 trillion to around $1.26 trillion.
Despite the growth, the GSMA Mobile Money Programme acknowledges that more work is still required to help give underserved communities access to safe, secure, and affordable financial services. With 1.4 billion people worldwide remaining unbanked, the GSMA Mobile Money Programme is working with mobile operators and industry stakeholders worldwide to create a robust mobile money ecosystem, increasing the relevancy and utility of these services and ensuring their sustainability.
The 2023 report shows there are now 315 live mobile money deployments across the globe, with peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers and cash-in/cash-out transactions still among the most popular use cases. Bill payments using mobile money grew by 36 per cent year-on-year – faster than any other use case – and the industry continues to focus on use case diversification, playing an important role in digitizing economies.
As the world increasingly moves on from the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile money services have continued to show resilient growth instigated during the pandemic. Up to 400 million accounts were added during the pandemic alone. This rapid uptake is largely due to the technology’s role in enabling millions of people across low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, to access digital financial services. This upward trend continues, with the number of accounts active on a 30-day basis also growing by 13 per cent year-on-year to 401 million in 2022.
Mobile money is also driving financial inclusion for the world’s unbanked, particularly amongst women in African rural communities, where access to mobile money can play a transformational and empowering role. However, according to the latest GSMA data, there is still a mobile money gender gap that has shown signs of widening over the last year, particularly in Africa. Mobile phone ownership is one of the main drivers of the mobile money gender gap; however, several other barriers and cultural norms also prevent women from adopting mobile money. As a result, women in low- and middle-income countries are currently 28 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile money account.
The number of mobile money agents in Africa also increased significantly last year, with a 41 per cent increase between 2021 and 2022. The overall number of agents went from 12 million in 2021 to 17.4 million in 2022. The number of active agents increased by 25 per cent to 7.2 million in 2022. Agents continued to prove to be an invaluable part of mobile money services and were responsible for two-thirds of all cash-in transactions in 2022.
“It is promising to see the continued growth of mobile money worldwide, especially in Africa. Mobile money has afforded millions of unbanked and underserved people in low- and middle-income countries access to digital financial services, for the first time,” said Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA.
Source: Business Insider
Leave a Reply