Mobile Money in Africa | Photo Courtesy.
Mobile Money in Africa | Photo Courtesy.

The GSMA during the MWC 2019 in Barcelona unveiled its eighth annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’, offering a current snapshot of the mobile money landscape and highlighting the impact that greater financial inclusion has on lives, economies and innovation, especially in emerging markets.

The report provides a comprehensive picture of mobile money adoption and usage around the globe. At the end of 2018, there were more than 866 million registered accounts in 90 countries — a 20% increase from 2017.

The report also shows that the mobile money industry processed transactions worth USD$1.3 billion per day in 2018, with digital transaction values growing at more than twice the rate of cash transactions, indicating that cash is becoming less central to customers’ lives.

Mats Granryd, Director General at GSMA in a press statement said, “the mobile money industry is fast-evolving against a backdrop of increasing internet access and smartphone adoption, and now more than ever, mobile’s unparalleled global scale provides a tremendous opportunity to reach the 1.7 billion people who remain financially excluded.”

This new platform-based approach aims to strengthen mobile money to meet the evolving needs of customers. The opportunity to increase and diversify revenue streams and reach new and broader customer bases is compelling.

Other important developments in 2018 report included reforms in Africa’s three most populated countries, Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria, which are expected to spark a wave of adoption which could lead to more than 110 million new accounts being added over the next five years.