Africa leads in mobile money adoption
The rate of mobile money adoption is increasing, according to research by moneytransfer.com, with Sub-Saharan Africa, East and West Africa dominating in numbers.
While Sub-Saharan Africa has seen the most significant increase in mobile money, East Africa maintains the highest transaction values with US$403-billion in transactions.
According to moneytransfer.com, West Africa is still proliferating, with a 60% increase in transaction value since 2020.
The research shows that mobile money is still used in low- and middle-income states. North America is still missing from the data set. Europe has the lowest transaction value among the regions listed.
Moneytransfer.com states: “Yet, as it finds savings, credit, and premiums applications, mobile money appears set to remain vital in Africa. The venture is attracting multimillion-dollar financing. Entities such as Mastercard aim to bridge financial access gaps in the quickest growing cities.”
Research also shows that while there is enormous progress in mobile financial services in many nations, sustainability is under threat by various policy and regulatory procedures.
“Both mobile money providers and customers share the high cost of compliance. Such regulations harm future investments and customer use of mobile money services. A dialogue between policymakers, regulators, and industry leaders is vital. This might do away with hostile policy and regulatory interventions,”
In a thought leadership piece published on ITWeb in August last year, author Rabelani Dagada, Professor, University of Johannesburg, said that while South Africa has largely embraced tech innovation, the country still has to “conquer the mobile money conundrum, as it’s caught in the grip of excessive legislation.”
“South African regulations require a merchant to have a specific financial services provider licence. Countries like Kenya and Tanzania do not have these kinds of regulations and therefore, the growth of their mobile money usage has been exponential. Whereas internet and mobile banking uptake has been impressive in the local market, mobile money services have struggled to make tangible impact. Though internet regulation is good in terms of protecting consumers, it should not inhibit new direct investments and growth in digital commerce,” Dagada stated.
And in March, according to the State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money released by the GSM Association (GSMA), for the first time over US$1-billion was sent and received in remittances globally, monthly, via mobile money.