Africa drives soaring worldwide mobile money adoption - GSMA

Africa drives soaring worldwide mobile money adoption - GSMA

More than 60 million people around the world carried out mobile money transactions last June, according to figures from the GSMA, with sub-Saharan Africa leading the charge.

In June 2013 61 million mobile money accounts were active, up from 37 million in the same period in 2012. Meanwhile, the number of registered mobile money accounts nearly tripled in two years, from 71 million in June 2011 to 203 million in 2013.

Mobile money has also spread across a greater number of regions, with 219 services in 84 countries by the end of 2013, up from 179 in 75 at the end of 2012.

Sub-Saharan Africa is still the dominant region accounting for 52% of all live deployments but mobile money is also expanding in other areas, with, for example, 19 launches planned in Latin America.

At the end of 2013, nine markets - Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe - had more mobile money accounts than bank accounts.

The GSMA says that providers are not only launching but overcoming operational challenges to create solid distribution networks and a large base of active customers. Today, 13 services each have more than one million active accounts.

Having established strong foundations, many are moving into new products such as bulk and merchant payments. There are now 123 mobile insurance, credit and savings services, 27 of which were launched in 2013.

Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer, GSMA, says: "This annual report underscores the enormous impact that mobile money is having in emerging markets, by providing access to increasing numbers of products and services and helping millions of people to manage their daily lives and improve their livelihoods."

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