Mobile money reaches 100 million users
05 March 2015, 09:13
Barcelona - Mobile money is used by 100 million people across the globe, according to research released by global phone body the GSMA this week.
The GSMA says mobile money - which involves cash transfers using handsets - has surged to 299 services in 89 countries. Mobile network operators have also led the provision of 149 of these services.
The GSMA further says that mobile money is available in 61% of developing markets.
“The report shows that the number of active mobile money users continues to grow rapidly year-on-year, with more than 100 million accounts active as of December 2014, compared to 73 million in December 2013, an increase of 41%.
“Half of all new mobile money launches took place outside of the Sub-Saharan Africa region; for instance, in Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of active accounts increased by 50% over the year, demonstrating the significant traction that mobile money is gaining globally,” said the GSMA.
Mobile money, though, still has its stronghold on the African continent where the likes of Safaricom’s M-Pesa offering in Kenya has become the poster-child of the service.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, the birthplace of mobile money, over 50% of all mobile network operators have already launched a mobile money service and by December 2014, 23% of all mobile connections there were linked with a mobile money account,” said the GSMA.
South African operators such as Vodacom and MTN offer local mobile money services. But the country’s mobile money offerings have not taken off amid a more mature local banking sector.