The mobile money industry processed transactions worth a billion dollars a day in 2017, helping to drive financial inclusion around the world, according to the latest GSMA report.
In its seventh annual state of the industry report on mobile money, the GSMA claims that there are now 690 million registered accounts in over 90 countries, generating direct revenues of over $2.4 billion in 2017.
The report notes several new trends, including the accelerated growth of bank-to-wallet interoperability, the growing adoption of smartphones, the proliferation of fintech companies, the digitisation of new sectors of the economy, and renewed efforts by companies and governments to reach the most vulnerable and underserved.
Sub-Saharan Africa has long been the epicentre of mobile money and growth in this region shows no sign of slowing, but as the industry has matured, mobile money has also gained traction in other parts of the world. In 2017, for the first time, growth of the industry was led by regions other than Africa. With 47% year-on-year growth, South Asia was the fastest-growing region in terms of registered accounts and now represents a third of all these accounts.
And registered users are also increasingly using their mobile money services, with a steady increase in active customers, transactions and direct revenue, suggesting that the industry is reaching scale.
With mobile financial services flourishing, a separate report, from Avast, warns that consumers are at risk from sophisticated fraudsters. The security company asked 40,000 people from 12 countries to compare authentic and counterfeit banking application interfaces. More than half identified the official app as fraudulent, while 36% mistook the fake interface for the real one.
The survey also found that consumers across the globe are more concerned about having money stolen from their checking accounts than losing a wallet or purse or having their social media accounts hacked and their personal messages read.
"We are seeing a steady increase in the number of malicious applications for Android devices that are able to bypass security checks on popular app stores and make their way onto consumers’ phones. Often, they pose as gaming and lifestyle apps and use social engineering tactics to trick users into downloading them," says Gagan Singh, GM, mobile, Avast.