Kathy Gibson is at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – Greater financial inclusion has a massive impact on lives, economies and innovation – especially in emerging markets.
The GSMA today unveiled its eighth annual State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, providing 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 $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.
“Our research shows that for the world’s most vulnerable, the benefits of mobile money are real and wide-ranging,” says Mats Granryd, director-general of the GSMA. “Throughout 2018, the GSMA has continued to support operators in reaching customers that have traditionally been underserved by the financial system.
“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 year’s State of the Industry Report looks at how providers are navigating this dynamic and shifting ecosystem which was shaped by key trends in 2018 including:
* An enhanced customer experience owing to increased smartphone adoption and the expansion of mobile money interoperability;
* Diversification of the payments ecosystem;
* The introduction of increasingly complex regulation; and
* A 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% of customers are actively using the mobile money service, compared to customer activity rates of 26% 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.