Tuesday April 30, 2024

Cross-border data flows: Impact of data localisation on mobile money services in Africa and Asia

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

The rise of mobile money has sparked increased collaboration between institutions and operators, expanding access to and processing of customers’ personal data, often across borders. This report delves into the crucial role of cross-border data transfers in supporting regulatory compliance, mitigating fraud risks, and driving business expansion and innovation in the mobile money industry.

Despite these advantages, regulators worldwide have adopted diverse approaches to regulating cross-border data transfers. Some regions, notably Africa and Asia, are enacting data localization laws, raising concerns about their impact on digital services like mobile money. Such restrictions create operational challenges and trade barriers for operators, limiting their participation in global digital trade.

To address these challenges, stakeholders must engage in collaborative dialogue to develop a harmonized approach that balances national interests with the global nature of data flows. This approach is crucial for fostering sustainable economic growth, encouraging competition, and achieving financial inclusion goals in the digital financial services sector.

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