Zambia Mobile Money balloon as fintech adoption increase
Zambians are embracing digital financial services in numbers, presenting `important opportunities’ to bring solutions that increase financial inclusion in the country.
This is according to the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) 2022 annual market performance report for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
The report was released on Friday and says the adoption of mobile money in Zambia ballooned last year, as active subscriptions increased from 9.8 million in 2021 to 11.2 million subscribers in 2022, representing a growth rate of 13.98%.
In this period, the value of mobile money transactions increased significantly from ZMW 169.4 billion recorded at the end of 2021 to ZMW 295.8 billion at the end of 2022, reflecting an increase of 74.63%.
Similarly, ZICTA notes, the volume of mobile money transactions increased from 834 million transactions at the end of 2021 to 1 581 million transactions at the end of 2022, reflecting an improvement of 89.60%.
“This performance represents extensive adoption of digital financial services and presents important opportunities for increased financial inclusion in the country,” says the regulator.
Detailing the performance of the Zambian ICT sector, ZICTA says the country witnessed increased utilisation of ICT services in the country over the period January to December of 2022.
To support this, ZICTA notes, by the end of December 2022, there were a total of 84 valid licences in the ICT sector compared to 73 valid licences that had been issued by the regulator at the end of December 2021.
In the postal sector, there were a total of 71 valid licences at the end of December, 2022, compared to 49 valid licences that had been issued at the end of December 2021, reflecting a growth rate of 45%.
Looking ahead, the regulator forecasts a positive outlook in the general uptake and use of ICT services in the subsequent review period.
“The number of active mobile network subscriptions is expected to increase from 19.8 million reported at the end of 2022 to 20.4 million subscriptions at the end of 2023, and, subsequently, 21.3 million in 2024. In addition, the volume of domestic outgoing mobile voice call minutes is forecasted to increase from 28.5 billion minutes estimated at the end of 2022 to 32.1 billion projected for the year 2023 and could reach 34.5 billion minutes in 2024,” says ZICTA.
“These anticipated improvements in uptake and usage of ICT services are on the backdrop of increased investments by operators in the capacity and coverage of their networks, competitive pricing outcomes on the market as well as general improvement in demand for ICT services among other attributes.”