Building the ecosystem

The mobile money industry continues to expand globally, with more than 270 live mobile money deployments in 90 countries and an increasing number of deployments at scale: 30 deployments have at least one million active mobile money customers. In addition, there are now 19 markets with more mobile money accounts than bank accounts, indicating that mobile money remains a key enabler of financial inclusion.

However, mobile money usage continues to be dominated by two use cases: person-to-person (P2P) transfers and airtime top-ups. To increase sustainability, mobile money providers are exploring new models and products – such as account-to-account (A2A) interoperability, international remittances, merchant payments, salary disbursements and government-to-person (G2P) transfers – but the volumes and values of these represent only a minority of overall transactions.

Greater progress on financial inclusion and the creation of a successful mobile money ecosystem can only be achieved by developing use cases beyond transfers and airtime top-ups. Embracing the mobile money ecosystem brings major benefits to customers and to providers:

  • More services for customers which better address their financial needs: With new services being enabled via mobile money, new customer segments will be served (e.g. women, or farmers). Mobile money enables cost-efficient, secure and reliable payments to and from financially excluded and underserved populations.
  • Increased profitability for providers: Deployments that build a mature ecosystem can expect healthy profit margins of more than 20% and cash flow margins in excess of 15%.


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