In 2018 mobile money industry processed transactions worth $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.
As per eighth annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’ at the end of 2018, there were more than 866 million registered accounts in 90 countries – a 20 per cent increase from 2017.
“Our research shows that for the world’s most vulnerable, the benefits of mobile money are real and wide-ranging. Throughout 2018, the GSMA has continued to support operators in reaching customers that have traditionally been underserved by the financial system,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.
“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,” added Granryd.
The key trends in 2018 includes: Enhanced customer experience owing to increased smartphone adoption and the expansion of mobile money interoperability; Diversification of the payments ecosystem; Introduction of increasingly complex regulation; and shift towards a “payments as a platform” business model connecting consumers and businesses with a range of third-party services.
This new platform-based approach aims to strengthen mobile money to meet the evolving needs of customers, from enterprise solutions for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, to e-commerce, credit, savings and insurance. The opportunity to increase and diversify revenue streams and reach new and broader customer bases is compelling. For example, providers offering credit, savings or insurance products reported that 46 per cent of customers are actively using the mobile money service, compared to customer activity rates of 26 per cent for providers without such offerings.
Other important developments in 2018 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 mobile money accounts being added over the next five years.