Mobile Money generates direct revenues of $2.4 bn

More than 690 million registered accounts, mobile money has evolved into the leading payment platform for the digital economy in many emerging markets

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Mobile money has evolved into a leading platform for digital economy in 2017 with transactions worth a billion dollars a day, generating direct revenue of over $2.4 billion for telcos according to GSMA seventh annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’.

Today, with more than 690 million registered accounts, mobile money has evolved into the leading payment platform for the digital economy in many emerging markets. With mobile money now available in over 90 countries, including three-quarters of low- and lower-middle-income countries, it has become the leading payment platform for a digital economy in many emerging markets.

Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA said, “Mobile money remains a central part of this story, contributing to 13 of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), enabling access to essential services like health and education, empowering women with employment opportunities and reducing poverty by offering life-enhancing financial services, often for the first time.”

Mobile money trends in 2017 include: accelerated growth of bank-to-wallet interoperability, growing adoption of smartphones, proliferation of fintech companies, 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. Mobile money has also gained traction in South Asia. With 47 per cent year-on-year growth, South Asia was the fastest-growing region in terms of registered accounts and now represents 34 per cent of registered accounts globally.

In a business that relies deeply on trust, the role of longstanding brands and the understanding of local context will also remain integral to reaching people outside of the formal system. The policy and regulatory environment will play a determinant role in establishing incentives and setting national ambitions. As regulators confront questions around data protection, business models, and more, the policy end game of greater inclusion must remain at the fore. Providers able to effectively inform and support this process will be more likely to thrive.

Granryd added, “In an increasingly turbulent world, mobile money is also providing a lifeline, with digital humanitarian cash transfers and affordable international remittances giving refugees safe and convenient ways to meet pressing needs. We are also continuing to focus on narrowing the gender gap in access to financial services through programmes such as the Connected Women Commitment initiative.”