The GSMA’s 2023 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money shows that adoption rates are even more significant than expected, with registered accounts, transaction values and deployments exceeding industry predictions.
LONDON, April 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — According to the GSMA’s annual State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2023, mobile money services worldwide are growing faster than predicted as digital services become more popular today.
The report, published annually by the GSMA and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, shows that adoption rates are even faster than expected, with the number of registered mobile money accounts growing year-on-year from 1.4 billion in 2021 13% increase to 1.6 billion in 2022. While it took the industry 17 years to reach the first 800 million customers, this is extremely significant growth as it only took five years to reach the next 800 million.
In 2022, daily mobile money transactions reached $3.45 billion, surpassing the $3 billion forecast for 2021. The total mobile money transaction value increased by an incredible 22% between 2021 and 2022, from $1 trillion to approximately $1.26 trillion.
However, more work is needed in many areas around the world to provide underserved communities with access to safe and affordable financial services. With 1.4 billion unbanked people worldwide, the GSMA Mobile Money program works with mobile operators and industry players worldwide to create a robust mobile money ecosystem that increases the relevance and usefulness of these services and ensures their sustainability.
The 2023 report shows that there are now 315 live mobile money deployments around the world, with peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers and deposit/withdrawal transactions still among the most popular use cases. Mobile money bill payments grew 36% year over year – faster than any other use case – and the industry remains focused on diversification of use cases, which plays an important role in the digitization of economies.
As the world moves away from COVID-19, mobile money services have continued to show robust growth sparked during the pandemic. Up to 400 million accounts were added during the pandemic alone. This rapid adoption is largely due to the role of technology in enabling millions of people in low- and middle-income countries to access digital financial services. That upward trend continues, with 30-day active accounts growing 13 percent year-on-year in 2022 to reach 401 million.
The report also shows that in 2022, international remittances enabled by mobile money grew 28% year over year to $22 billion. During the pandemic, many diasporas sent more money to friends and family via mobile money than ever before. As a result, international remittances increased significantly in both 2020 and 2021 as many senders preferred mobile money for its efficiency, speed, security and cost-effectiveness. The trend continued in 2022, albeit at a slower pace.
closing the gender gap
Mobile money continues to drive financial inclusion for the world’s unbanked people, particularly women in rural communities where access to mobile money can play a transformative and empowering role.
However, according to the latest GSMA data, there is still a gender gap in mobile money that has shown signs of widening over the past year, particularly in India, Indonesia and Pakistan. Cell phone ownership is one of the main drivers of the mobile money gender gap, but a number of other barriers and cultural norms also prevent women from adopting mobile money. As a result, women in low- and middle-income countries are currently 28% less likely than men to own a mobile money account.
Growing agency networks
The number of mobile money agents has also increased significantly over the past year, with a 41% increase between 2021 and 2022. The total number of agents increased from 12 million in 2021 to 17.4 million in 2022. The number of active agents increased by 25% to 7.2 million in 2022. Much of this growth came from Nigeria, where a more liberal regulatory regime led to a proliferation of mobile money providers. Agents continued to prove an invaluable part of mobile money services, accounting for two-thirds of all deposit transactions by 2022.
“The continued growth of mobile money around the world is promising. Mobile money has brought digital financial services to millions of the unbanked and underserved in low- and middle-income countries for the first time,” said Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA. “Despite this significant growth, however, there is still a long way to go to bring these services to over a billion unbanked people worldwide. The GSMA therefore encourages governments worldwide to continue to develop the empowering policies that can support the deployment of mobile money and further fuel the growth of this crucial ecosystem. This will help accelerate the digitization of economies and build financial resilience, enabling communities to be self-sufficient in uncertain times.”
To learn more, download the 2023 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money here. For more information on the GSMA’s Mobile Money program, visit www.gsma.com/mobilemoney.
Note to the editor
The State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money is based on the results of the annual GSMA Global Adoption Survey of Mobile Financial Services and data from the GSMA Mobile Money Deployment Tracker. It provides insights into mobile money performance from the GSMA’s collaboration with the industry. Additional insights from the report also come from the annual GSMA consumer survey. The report is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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