Apr 30

Sub-Saharan Africa dominates global mobile money industry

Mobile money transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa reached US$19.9 billion in 2017, 63% of the global figure.

Mats Granryd, Director General at the GSMA said Sub-Saharan Africa is a dominant region as mobile money evolves into the leading payment platform for the digital economy with 690 million registered accounts in 90 countries around the world.

“The pioneer of mobile money, Sub-Saharan Africa is still the global leader in the sector, accounting for almost half of all registered customers globally. Last year, mobile money transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa reached US$19.9 billion – 63 percent of the global figure – and represented two-thirds of the volume of total transactions.”

Granryd said in 2017, Western and Central Africa were the fastest growing regions on the continent, led by high growth of registered accounts in countries that include Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

He believes mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa matured in 2017 as evidenced by new trends like the accelerated growth of bank-to-wallet interoperability, the growing adoption of smartphones, the proliferation of FinTech companies, the digitisation of new sectors of the economy, and renewed efforts by companies and governments to reach the most vulnerable and underserved.

Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO at MTN echoed Granryd’s sentiments.

“For mobile money we are now in 14 markets with 22 million active thirtyday users and round about a million net-adds in December alone, so this business is scaling quite rapidly. It’s a big business if you look at transaction value in December 2017 of five billion dollars. That’s five billion dollars a month on the MTN mobile money system and about four to five thousand transactions a minute. I think we have built a wonderful foundation and growth in the future will come from rapid scaling in those 14 markets, introducing new markets, expanding the portfolio of services in the mobile money world from money-in-money-out or P2P to value added services.”

In Kenya, Safaricom has over 70% of the total mobile phone subscribers and a firm grip on the country’s mobile money industry.

Source: IT Web