Mobile money has made rapid strides in Asia over the past five years, with the southern part of the continent experiencing an average annual growth rate of 46 per cent in mobile money accounts.

Significant increase in mobile money usage has been seen in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s latest annual Financial Access Survey.

The study pointed out that growth in Asia did not impact mobile money’s  “epicentre” – Africa – which also continued to thrive.

IMF explained the early rise of mobile money in sub-Saharan Africa came because some countries in the region lacked “deep banking penetration”. Today, the region leads in the number of mobile money accounts and in some countries, the number of mobile money accounts even surpasses bank accounts.

The organisation added that a great contribution to the growth of mobile money was the ability of the service to reach remote customers, such as those in Afghanistan.

Indeed, mobile money is picking up in the country, where 200 out of 1000 adults have bank accounts but more than 80 per cent of the population have access to a mobile phone.

In total, the value of mobile money transactions in Afghanistan has grew to 1.2 per cent of GDP in 2018, added IMF.