Tuesday, 6th June 2023
<To guardian.ng

W’Africa’s mobile money transactions hit $277 billion

By Adeyemi Adepetun
21 April 2023   |   3:28 am
Of the $836.5 billion mobile money transactions processed in Africa, West Africa recorded $277 billion.

W’Africa’s mobile money

. Regional registered accounts grow from 648.23m to 781m

Of the $836.5 billion mobile money transactions processed in Africa, West Africa recorded $277 billion.

According to the Global System for Mobile telecommunications Association (GSMA) with the $277 billion West Africa is ranked second after East Africa, which led with a transaction of $491.8 billion.

Central Africa came third with $57.6 billion, followed by Southern Africa at $5.3 billion and North Africa with $4.7 billion.

GSMA, which said the $836.5 billion transactions processed in Africa in 2022 represented a 22 per cent increase year-on-year, noted that the increase in transaction value, number of registered accounts and deployments observed across Africa as well as other parts of the globe significantly exceed industry expectations.

The growth in Nigeria can be attributed to the recent Payment Service Bank licence handed to MTN and Airtel by the Central Bank of Nigeria. They were additions to those of Globacom and 9mobile.

The report showed the volume of transactions processed in Africa in 2022 stood at 44.9 billion, representing a 21 per cent increase from the previous year, while the number of registered accounts grew from 648.23 million in 2021 to 781 million in 2022.

Globally, the total transaction value jumped from $1 trillion to $1.26 trillion between 2021 and 2022, while daily transactions through mobile money peaked at $3.45 billion, far above the $3 billion predicted in 2021.

The report noted in addition that mobile money-enabled international remittances grew by 28 per cent year-on-year to $22 billion in the year under review.

According to the telecoms advocacy body, this was driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns, which pushed many Diasporas to send more funds to friends and family using mobile money than ever before.

The report noted that senders preferred mobile money for its “efficiency, speed, safety and cost-effectiveness.”

Also, the report indicated that the world now counts 315 live mobile money deployments, with peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers and cash-in/cash-out transactions still among the most popular use cases.

GSMA added: “Bill payments using mobile money grew by 36 per cent year-on-year – faster than any other use case – and the industry continues to focus on use case diversification, playing an important role in digitising economies.”

According to Director-General of the GSMA, Mats Granryd, mobile money services are growing very fast across the world.

“While it took the industry 17 years to reach the first 800 million customers, it took only five years to reach the next 800 million, and of that, 400 million accounts were added throughout the pandemic. Today there are 1.6 billion registered mobile money accounts,” Granryd noted.

Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA, Max Cuvellier, said it is comforting to see the continued growth of mobile money worldwide, which has offered many millions of unbanked and underserved people in low- and middle-income countries access to digital financial services, for the first time.

Despite the significant growth of mobile money, he said there is still a long way to go to bring those services to over a billion people worldwide who remain unbanked.

“The GSMA is therefore encouraging governments worldwide to keep developing the enabling policies that can support mobile money deployments and further boost the growth of this crucial ecosystem. Doing so helps accelerate the digitization of national economies and build financial resilience, allowing communities to support themselves in uncertain times,” Cuvellier stated.