LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – AFRICA: More than half of all mobile money deployments worldwide are in Sub-Saharan Africa, with providers enabling “a range of innovative new services across multiple industry sectors, including utilities and agriculture”, the GSMA announced.
In its State of Mobile Money in Sub-Saharan Africa presentation, the association announced there were 140 services across 39 countries in the region, accounting for more than half of the 277 mobile money deployments worldwide. In seven markets, more than 40 per cent of adults are active mobile money users: Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The industry association also highlighted how the mobile money market in the region has evolved from primarily being used to top-up airtime and make person-to-person transfers, to become a platform enabling additional financial services, including bill payments, merchant payments and international remittances.
Between 2014 and 2016 the volume of these new types of “ecosystem payments” almost quadrupled, and now account for 17 per cent of all mobile money transactions.
While mobile money users have historically been concentrated in East African countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the latest data suggests user growth is now being driven by other markets, notably West Africa.
Almost 29 per cent of active mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa are now based in West Africa, compared with just 8 per cent five years earlier.