LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 LATIN AMERICA: There are “roughly 14.9 million” registered mobile money accounts in 19 countries across Latin America, with nearly two-thirds of markets having at least one live service, according to a GSMA report launched today.
In total there are 37 mobile money services live in the region, including seven new services launched in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Peru since 2014.
Despite the strong momentum, approximately half of all adults in the region remain unbanked, Sebastian Cabello, head of GSMA Latin America, stated.
“Widespread adoption and usage of mobile financial services in LAC [Latin America and the Caribbean] still has a long way to go, but we are encouraged by the growth of successful deployments in the region, and the range of business models being adopted. Competition is clearly heating up, and with it, the level of investment and interest from the private sector,” he continued.
The report, Mobile Financial Services in Latin America and the Caribbean, points out that while there is no standardised commercial model for mobile money services, an open and level playing field with regulation that allows “both banks and non-banks” to provide services is “essential for mobile money to succeed”.
Other findings include the fact that last year the region had the fastest uptake in new registered mobile money accounts in the world, with a 50 per cent growth rate, and that El Salvador, Honduras and Paraguay are among the top 15 markets globally in terms of the proportion of adults actively using mobile money.
A greater number of deployments are also reaching scale, it said, with three mobile money services crossing the one million active customer milestone as of April 2015.