Policy and regulation

In countries with non-enabling regulatory environments, mobile money providers face challenges in launching and scaling the full breadth of mobile financial services. Today, regulation allows both banks and non-banks to provide mobile money services in 51 out of 93 markets where mobile financial services are available.

However, evidence shows that enabling regulatory frameworks accelerate the development of the mobile money sector. Mobile money deployments in countries with non-enabling regulation show a smaller number of registered and active mobile money accounts, as well as lower agent activity rates, despite having a much greater proportion of the adult population than countries with enabling regulation. These regulatory barriers need to be addressed to allow the mobile financial ecosystem to reach its full potential.

The Mobile Money Programme provides regulators, mobile money providers, and other stakeholders with the necessary support to address regulatory barriers in order to increase the ability of mobile money providers to meet the financial needs of poor and low-income customers.

This includes:

Mobile Money Leadership Forum

Every year, the GSMA convenes leaders from regulatory authorities, the mobile money industry, standard setting bodies and development organisations to discuss policy issues around mobile money and financial inclusion, stimulating greater understanding and collaboration between all mobile money stakeholders globally.The Mobile Money Leadership Forum is an established event that provides an exceptional opportunity for policy makers and industry leaders to come together to reflect on the theory behind mobile money, share market insights, discuss the opportunities the mobile money industry offers for economic growth and social development around the world, and debate what reforms enable mobile money services to launch and scale.

Past Leadership Forums:

Advocacy Engagements

The Mobile Money Programme’s policy engagements aim to provide support  to standard setting bodies (SSBs), national regulators, and the mobile money industry to create an enabling environment for mobile money services to be launched and scale.The collaboration with SSBs has achieved to build awareness on the role of mobile money, its positive impact on financial inclusion, stability, integrity, and consumer protection, and how mobile money products and the distribution are designed to add value to people’s life and mitigate risks.

Currently we are working with the Financial Inclusion Working Group and the New Payment Methodologies Working Group at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and with the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Through our regional and in-country work, we aim to build a constructive dialogue between the financial sector and telecoms authorities and the mobile money industry where mutual learning improves both policies and compliance.

Engagement Activities

  • Facilitating roundtable events and technical seminars
  • Assessing the state of the market and identifying regulatory barriers and solutions backed up by quantitative and qualitative information
  • Support drafting regulations
  • Identifying relevant cases in other markets for benchmarking, and providing data
  • Regulatory trainings for mobile money managers and regulatory professionals
  • Facilitation of regulators peer exchange in order to gain a better understanding of enabling solutions tested in other markets

Regulatory Training for Operators

The Mobile Money Programme offers training for mobile network operators (MNOs) with the purpose to improve their capacity to assess regulatory frameworks and to equip them to engage successfully with financial sector regulators.The regulatory training curricula include the most relevant regulatory topics, analysis of the broad policy and institutional environment, cost-effective compliance mechanisms, as well as tips on how to build a constructive engagement with the regulator. During the training, tools to understand and assess regulatory frameworks are designed, as well as materials that the participant can use to prepare an effective case for proportionate regulation and to present it to the relevant authorities.

The training is delivered to a single MNO group’s opcos or to mobile money providers from different MNO groups. For more information on regulatory training, please contact mobilemoney@gsma.com.

Resources

GSMA Mobile Money has published a variety of resources aimed at supporting mobile money providers and regulators in addressing regulatory barriers.

General

Mobile Money: Enabling regulatory solutions
Date published: February 2013

Regional case studies

Mobile money regulation and policies in Paraguay: Vision, market dynamics and industry perspectives
Date published: November 2015

Enabling Mobile Money Policies in Kenya: Fostering a Digital Financial Revolution
Date published: February 2015

Enabling Mobile Money Policies in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Date published: April 2014

Enabling Mobile Money Policies in Tanzania
Date published: March 2014

Enabling Mobile Money Policies in Sri Lanka: The Rise of eZ Cash
Date published: July 2013

AML/CFT compliance

Proportional risk-based AML/CFT regimes for mobile money: A framework for assessing risk factors and mitigation measures
Date published: August 2015

Mobile Money: Methodology for Assessing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risks
Date published: June 2010

Understanding Financial Regulation and How It Works
Date published: January 2008

Safeguarding customer funds

Safeguarding Mobile Money: How providers and regulators can ensure that customer funds are protected
Date published: January 2016

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