Africa now accounts for 70% of the $1 trillion global mobile money value. The value of mobile money transactions in Africa increased slightly by 39% to $701.4 billion in 2021 from $495 billion in 2020, underscoring that the future of African banking is mobile.
GSMA figures released on April 21 show mobile money transaction volume jumped 23% to 36.7 billion in 2021 from 27.5 billion in 2020.
During the reporting period, mobile wallets registered in Africa exceeded 621 million, an increase of 17% from the 562 million captured in 2020.
There are now more than 184 million active mobile money wallets on the continent, up from 161 million accounts just over a year ago.
Africa is a forerunner of mobile money
According to Ashley Olson Onyango, Head of Financial Inclusion, GSMA, although the use of mobile money has become a global phenomenon, African users remain an important driver.
“As a result, businesses and individuals have benefited from this rapid digitization of payments, unlocking access to more products and services, building financial resilience and creating business opportunities,” she said.
The African mobile money ecosystem is also rapidly diversifying, much like the rest of the world, from business-to-consumer (B2C) to business-to-business (B2B).
“A key feature of industry progress over the past few years has been the rapid diversification of mobile money beyond its primary traditional use case: person-to-person transactions (e.g., transferring money to family and friends),” Onyango said.
“In particular, 2021 has seen the mobile money industry play a key role in helping small businesses operate more efficiently and improve customer experience. The value of mobile money-enabled merchant payments nearly doubled compared to 2020, reaching a global average of $5.5 billion in transactions per month.
The pandemic has been instrumental in pushing the mobile money market to the value of $1 trillion
According to the GSMA, the total value of global transactions in 2021 was $1.045 billion, up 31% from 2020.
While the trillion-dollar mark was a long-awaited industry goal, the GSMA initially predicted it wouldn’t be reached until 2023.
But several years of strong growth prompted earlier forecasts to be revised more than once, in part due to the push towards digitalization during the covid-19 pandemic.
“Cash, cash and person-to-person (P2P) payments still represent the bulk of value, but more and more people in LMICs are living increasingly digital lives thanks to mobile money – pay bills, tuition, and a variety of online and offline merchants through mobile money accounts.These different use cases will be explored more closely in the next chapter, the report reads in part. .
In what the GSMA calls “another benchmark” for the industry, for the first time in 2021, P2P transactions exceeded $386 billion, or more than $1 billion per day.
Africa and the Middle East are the fastest growing markets for mobile money
The value of deals grew fastest in the Middle East and North Africa (49%), Sub-Saharan Africa (40%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (39%).
In the coming years, the GSMA expects growth to come from both long-established mobile money markets and markets where mobile money services are still nascent, particularly in South Asia and countries African countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia and Angola.
For example, in 2021, Ethiopia saw the launch of a mobile money service led by a mobile network operator (MNO), and the Central Bank of Nigeria granted approval in principle to major MNOs to run mobile money services. mobile money services in the country.
“In 2021, as in previous years, the vast majority of new active accounts (30 days) were added in Africa and Asia, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific. However, the fastest growth by far has been in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region due to the remarkable growth in the Middle East,” the GSMA said in the report.
“Although the region only represents 4% of the industry, new active accounts grew by 68%, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (34%) and East Asia and Pacific (23%). %).)”
It further shows that the mobile money industry is more global than ever.
In 2012, mobile money was largely an East African phenomenon, with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 84% of all active accounts (30 days).
In 2021, the mobile money map has been redrawn, with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for just over half of active accounts and South Asia 20%, overtaking East Asia and the Pacific (19 %).
“In the space of a decade, the number of mobile money providers has almost doubled and their reach has increased dramatically. In 2012, most services (83%) had less than 100,000 active accounts and only four (2%) had more than one million active users,” the report said.
“By 2021, that number had grown to 67 services (22%) and the landscape was much more complex, with services of all sizes.”
The original version of this story was republished with permission from bird, a story agency under Africa No Filter.