Money mobile market in Africa grew by 39% in 2021 to US$701.4 billion - making up around 70% of global transactions values which hit over $1 trillion for the first time ever in 2021.
According to the GSMA's 2022 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, there are currently 1.35 billion mobile money accounts around the world, an increase of 18% since 2020. Africa dominates with around 621 million of those records, and with customers growth of 17% from previous years.
Compared to the previous year, both mobile money adoption and usage soared in 2021. More than 1.5 million person-to-person (P2P) transactions were made every hour on average globally last year, 22 times more than in 2012.
Today, the mobile money industry has truly become more popular than ever. A decade ago, mobile money was generally an East African peculiarity, with sub-Saharan Africa representing 84% of every dynamic record. But the GSMA observed that in 2021, the mobile money map has been redrawn, with sub-Saharan Africa representing 53% of dynamic records while South Asia currently has around 20% of worldwide records and East Asia and the Pacific have around 19%.
"Amazingly throughout recent years, mobile money has developed from a specialty proposing to a worldwide monetary help that is changing the existence of countless individuals all over the planet," said Ashley Olson Onyango, head of monetary consideration and agritech at GSMA.
In 2012, there were only 169 Mobile Money deployments in 71 countries. Today, over 316 mobile money has been deployed in over 98 countries worldwide.
Olson Onyango also noted that the number of mobile money agents has grown by over ten percent from 534,000 in 2012 to 5.6 million (as of May 2022).
"Even the most established and extensive agent networks registered strong growth, with the 25 largest ones growing by 26% on average from 2020 to 2021. This represents a significant investment that mobile money providers have made and continue to make in increasing access to finance for the most underserved customers," she said.
Africa Advances on Mobile Money
"East Africa was certainly a region that was a trailblazer for the adoption and uptake of mobile money. While we still see a very stronghold on the market share of registered accounts and transactions in East Africa, we are seeing great growth in both West Africa and Central Africa," said Olson Onyango.
East Africa has the most registered accounts at 296 million, showing a growth of 15% in 2021, however, West Africa accounts for 237 million records, showing a fast growth of 20% from last year.
"There's a clear trend towards a more digitized mobile money ecosystem. As more cash is converted into e-money and either continues to circulate as such or is spent digitally rather than being cashed out," said Olson Onyango.
"In 2012, for every dollar cashed in 88 cents was cashed out. In 2021, this figure dropped by 24%. So now for every dollar that has been cashed in, only 67 cents are cashed out. This is a sign that mobile money users are becoming increasingly digital citizens and nearly half of all outgoing mobile money transactions are now digital," she added.
The report reveals that one of the main drivers of growth of the mobile money industry in 2021 was vendor instalments, which nearly multiplied year-on-year (YoY), arriving at a normal of $5.5 billion in exchanges each month.
Suppliers are exhibiting they can draw in organizations to their foundation with better motivating forces, for example, proficient remote onboarding processes. For instance, since Safaricom's M-Pesa started permitting organizations to enlist for a record online in Kenya.
Financial Inclusion of Mobile Money in Africa
"Mobile money has also been a driving force for financial inclusion for the world's most vulnerable, particularly women. Mobile money is empowering women to take more control over their finances and purchase goods that they urgently need," the GSMA said.
Also, 44% of suppliers answering the GSMA Global Adoption Survey presently offer credit, reserve funds or protection items, setting out open doors for underserved people to put resources into their occupations and prospects.
"We're seeing great progress in countries like Kenya that have narrowed its gap to 7%. Ghana is actually at 1%, which is quite encouraging. However, the trend is not pervasive across all markets and we're seeing particularly high and stable gender gaps in Asian markets," she concluded.
The rapid growth of mobile money in Africa is indeed good news for the continent and we hope to see more thriving development to build a sustainable economy for Africa.