March 4, 2013
30 million active mobile money users around globe
WORLD— Research shows the number of active mobile money users grew impressively; more than 30 million people undertook 224.2 million transactions totalling $4.6 billion during the month of June 2012 alone according to the GSMA’s second annual Global Mobile Money Adoption Survey.
The study demonstrates that the mobile money industry continues to expand at an unparalleled rate, with 150 live mobile money services for the unbanked, 41 of which were launched in 2012. In addition, the industry is also becoming increasingly competitive, with 40 markets identified as having at least two different mobile money services available. The report identified six services with more than one million active customer accounts and in the last 12 months, three of these services have crossed the one million active customers threshold.
One of the most developed regions in terms of mobile money is Sub-Saharan Africa where there are 56.9 million registered mobile money customers. In terms of geographical spread, more than half of all countries in sub-Saharan Africa have live deployments and 37 per cent of the 166 mobile networks operators in the region have already launched mobile money. Mobile money services are available in 34 of the 47 countries in the region and penetration will continue to grow in the region, since the majority of planned deployments are also in sub-Saharan Africa.
These numbers have an incredible impact for the large unbanked populations in the region. There are now more mobile money accounts than bank accounts in Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda, and more mobile money agent outlets than bank branches in at least 28 countries. With over 520,000 registered agent outlets, there are now as many mobile money outlets as Western Union points of sale. Further, in some countries, the total value of mobile money transactions is equivalent to a significant proportion of the country’s overall GDP: in June 2012, it was equivalent to more than 60 per cent of GDP in Kenya, more than 30 per cent of GDP in Tanzania and more than 20 per cent of GDP in Uganda.