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Mobile Money for the Unbanked

By Claire Penicaud

The GSMA releases MMU 2013 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Financial Services for the Unbanked

The GSMA releases MMU 2013 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Financial Services for the Unbanked

The GSMA Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) programme today releases its 2013 State of the Industry Report. The report contains key findings and insights on the growth of the mobile financial services sector, including mini case studies and mobile money best practices. This year, for the first time, the MMU State of the Industry Report has been extended to include mobile insurance, mobile credit and mobile savings services in addition to mobile money services.

Anne Bouverot, GSMA Director General & Member of the Board -

“Mobile money represents a tremendous opportunity for social impact through enabling customers to access services which can help them to manage their daily lives and improve their livelihoods. It also represents an important commercial opportunity, and as such many of our members have built mobile money into their core strategy for achieving future revenue growth. Since GSMA began collecting and analysing mobile money data back in 2010, our insights from the annual State of the Industry report have helped to create a better understanding of the reach and the operational performance of mobile money services around the world.”

Growing & Expanding Services

With 219 services in 84 countries at the end of 2013, mobile money is now available in most developing and emerging markets. The industry continues to grow and expand outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, with 19 service launches planned in Latin America for 2014.

The number of active mobile money accounts is growing fast, in June 2013 there were over 60 million compared to just 37 million in June 2012. A total of 13 mobile money services have now reached scale, with over 1 million active users.

Financial Inclusion

With an increasing number of services reaching scale, the mobile money industry is extending access to financial services beyond the reach of traditional financial institutions in many developing countries. At the end of 2013, nine markets had more mobile money accounts than bank accounts, compared to just four in 2012.

The development of other mobile financial services including mobile insurance, credit and savings services will enable a deepening of financial inclusion by offering services beyond money transfer and payment. In 2013 there were a total of 123 mobile insurance, credit and savings services, 27 of which were launched this year.

Ecosystem development & interoperability

An increasing number of mobile money providers are recognising ecosystem development opportunities as competition within the mobile money industry grows. As mobile money becomes an increasingly mature and mainstream service, with 52 markets now having 2 or more services, opportunities to foster interoperability are highlighted.

Low penetration of banking and card payment services in a number of markets means that many private and public companies are struggling to find efficient and affordable ways to scale-up their billing and payment options. Mobile money services have been used successfully in a number of markets to address the issue of payment and billing scale. In June 2013, there were 53 thousand merchants accepting payments via mobile money, and 16 thousand organisations using mobile money as a payment platform for accepting bill payment or making bulk payments such as salary payments. Given these developments in the mobile money ecosystem it is not surprising that transactions involving external companies have driven growth in the sector, representing 29 per cent of the total value transacted in June 2013.

The full report is now available for download here. Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing some of the main findings from the report on the MMU blog; stay tuned!

Feel free to post questions and comments on the blog or email us at mmu@gsma.com

Note on methodology

The MMU 2013 State of the Industry Report contains data from both the MMU Deployment Tracker, which monitors the number of live and planned mobile money services for the unbanked across the globe. The report also includes data from the MMU 2013 Global Adoption Survey of Mobile Financial Services, which had a total of 110 participants across 56 countries. Estimates for the number of registered and active accounts were made using specifically formulated data modelling tools to complete the data set.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for this good read which also highlights financial inclusion. In Uganda, the mobile telephone network for money transfers and payment for services has been phenomenal! The Government of Uganda in the recent budget read on 12th June 2014,mobile money withdrawals will be subjected to a 10% excise duty – showing the Government is appreciating impact of such sub sectors and also needs to tap in these revenue streams.

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