Johannesburg, 19 Jul 2023
Africa’s mobile money sector is one of the most established and fastest-growing fintech industries in the world. There are now 781 million registered mobile money accounts on the continent, accounting for 48.8% of global users. Africans registered 17% more mobile money accounts in 2022 than in 2021, growing the transaction value to $836.5 billion (~R16.4 trillion). Worldwide, mobile money transactions have surpassed $1.26 trillion (~R24.7 trillion).
These stats come from the GSM Association’s latest State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2023. The findings of this report conclude that this growth spurt is led by regulatory changes in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 781 million active accounts in Africa, 763 million come from sub-Saharan Africa and the other 18 million are registered in North Africa.
4C Group offers a comprehensive suite of fintech services that give telcos and mobile money operators a competitive advantage. Our iNSight Payment Gateway is widely deployed throughout Africa as it connects tens of millions of mobile money users to a broad range of products, services, merchants and businesses. This scalable architecture can be deployed to markets of any size and transaction volume.
More insights from the GSMA report
The report also found that the rate of mobile money adoption is exceeding initial expectations. It took the global sector 17 years to reach 800 million users, but just five years to reach the next 800 million. With a total of 1.6 billion active mobile money accounts in the world, the growth rate continues to spike.
“It is promising to see the continued growth of mobile money worldwide. Mobile money has afforded millions of unbanked and underserved people in low- and middle-income countries access to digital financial services, for the first time,” says Max Cuvellier, head of mobile for development at GSMA.
The GSMA estimates that there are still 1.4 billion people in the world who are unbanked. “It is clear that mobile money is driving financial inclusion around the world. As it continues to grow, it offers an incredible opportunity to reach the 1.4 billion people who still do not have access to financial services,” explains Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA.
“As we work towards a sustainable and resilient future in which everyone is connected, it is absolutely vital that we also keep working to design safe and secure financial services for all,” Granryd adds. The GSMA is actively encouraging African governments to keep developing new policies that support mobile money and boost the larger economy.
How African regions compare for transactions
East Africa leads the way with 390 million registered mobile money users and a transaction value of $491 billion. This is followed closely by West Africa with 290 million users and a transaction value of $277 billion. Central Africa comes in third with 65 million registered accounts and a transaction value of $57.6 billion.
“In the early years of mobile money growth, East Africa was the powerhouse. The region had the highest activity rate in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020, but this has fallen for two consecutive years. Activity rates in West Africa increased consistently between 2018 and 2022 and are now approaching sub-Saharan African activity rates,” reads the GSMA report.
Southern Africa and North Africa are still the smallest mobile money markets on the continent, with 18 million registered accounts each. However, southern Africa’s transaction value is $5.3 billion, whereas North Africa’s is $4.7 billion.
These values are affected by government policies, including taxation policies on mobile money transactions. The GSMA also notes that some countries have introduced taxes and fees that do not align with their financial inclusion objectives.
Africa continues to lead the way for the global mobile money market. 4C Group offers innovative fintech services to enterprises, telcos and financial institutions in the sector. For more information about our mobile money and fintech services, please contact us today.
At 4C Group of Companies, we strive to effect operational changes and cost savings for customers through our iNSight product and associated services. This product’s main function is to re-purpose and deliver business-critical information to a variety of systems and stakeholders.
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