Nigeria and other African countries to push mobile money accounts to 110 million by 2024

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The GSMA, an institution which represents the interest of mobile operators worldwide, has predicted that the current reforms in mobile money where telecommunications operators will be licensed in Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia are expected to spark a wave of adoption.

GSMA noted that the development could lead to more than 110 million new mobile money accounts being added over the next five years.

The announcement was made during the launch of GSMA’s eighth annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’, an initiative offering a current snapshot of the mobile money landscape and highlighting the impact that greater financial inclusion has on lives, economies and innovation, especially in emerging markets.

The report provides a comprehensive picture of mobile money adoption and usage around the globe. At the end of 2018, there were more than 866 million registered accounts in 90 countries, a 20 percent increase from 2017.

It was also revealed in the report that the mobile money industry processed transactions worth $1.3 billion per day in 2018, with digital transaction values growing at more than twice the rate of cash transactions, indicating that cash is becoming less central to customers’ lives.

Director General of GSMA, Mats Granryd said “our research shows that for the world’s most vulnerable, the benefits of mobile money are real and wide-ranging. Throughout 2018, the GSMA has continued to support operators in reaching customers that have traditionally been underserved by the financial system”.

Granryd noted that “the mobile money industry is fast-evolving against a backdrop of increasing internet access and smartphone adoption, and now more than ever, mobile’s unparalleled global scale provides a tremendous opportunity to reach the 1.7 billion people who remain financially excluded”.

The State of Industry report shows how providers are navigating this dynamic and shifting ecosystem which was shaped by key trends in 2018 including: an enhanced customer experience owing to increased smartphone adoption and the expansion of mobile money interoperability; Diversification of the payments ecosystem; The introduction of increasingly complex regulation; and a shift towards a “payments as a platform” business model connecting consumers and businesses with a range of third-party services.

GSMA said this new platform-based approach seeks to strengthen mobile money to meet the evolving needs of customers.

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