Managing risk in mobile money: a new comprehensive risk toolkit

Managing operational risk is a challenge, particularly in an evolving industry where new products bring new risks and consideration for the business.  There is no silver bullet for risk management in mobile money because the level of investment, resources and policies will heavily depend on stage of development, market context, and an operator’s own appetite for risk.  This variability makes creating “best practice” in risk management a difficult task.

However, while there is not one singular approach to running risk management in mobile money, the tools that operators use to identify and evaluate risks can be consistent. Today, we are delighted to be releasing the first version of a risk toolkit that operators can use to identify, evaluate and manage key risks in mobile money.

The Mobile Money Risk Toolkit is a MS Excel document which provides operators both a comprehensive risk register and complete list of relevant controls tailored to the requirements of a closed-loop operator-led mobile money service. Additionally, the toolkit has been built to be operationalized by incorporating the following functionality:

  • Provides guidance and ability to evaluate the impact/likelihood of  risks,
  • Allows operators to collate assurance information for each risk,
  • Enables risk managers to assign business owners to both risks and controls,
  • Generates key reports for senior management on high/extreme risks and risks with outstanding actions.

This toolkit has been developed in partnership with Dick Clark and Richard Murray from Consult Hyperion and Michael Joyce, an expert in mobile money risk management.  The content was sourced from core external documents from MMU, MicroSave and USAID, and then further developed and tested in collaboration with more than 10 different mobile money operators. This is the first risk toolkit available to industry stakeholders that provides both comprehensive content and the capacity to be operationalized.   While this version focuses on risks in a closed-loop system, we are looking at expanding the toolkit to consider risks that are associated with ecosystem services, such as bill and merchant payments.

Alongside the toolkit, MMU is releasing two presentations that risk managers can use to introduce and implement the toolkit locally.   The first presentation is a more detailed overview of the scope, contents and usability of the toolkit. The second presentation is aimed to provide C-levels and senior managers insights on risks in mobile money as well as what they can expect from the toolkit.

Both presentations are available for download for all relevant partners.

Any mobile money operators or industry practitioners wishing to receive the full Mobile Money Risk Toolkit, please send an email to*

*Note, the Mobile Money Risk Toolkit is only available to GSMA members.

Click here to download the toolkit summary presentation.

Click here to download the executive overview presentation targeted for senior management.

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