Mobile money is on the rise, according to the latest State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money from the GSMA.
Announced at this week’s Mobile World Congress, the report indicates that after a decade of considerable growth, there have now been over half a billion registrations of mobile money accounts across 92 countries around the world, with almost 174 million active over a 90-day period. The report also indicates that in 30 countries, there are “10 times more active mobile money agents than bank branches”, according to a summary.
While the emerging mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay cater to highly industrialized markets, the GSMA points out that mobile money services more broadly, having first emerged with the likes of M-Pesa in Kenya, have helped to push growth in emerging markets. Such services are now available in 66 percent of the world’s low- and middle-income markets, helping to foster financial inclusion for individuals around the globe; and the GSMA says mobile money has brought down the costs of international remittances to half of what they are with traditional transfer services.
Looking ahead, the GSMA is seeking to further boost the ascent of mobile money with its launch a new, free developer portal offering standardized APIs for platform makers. As GSMA Director General Mats Granryd explains, “mobile money has made amazing strides” over the last decide, and “[w]ith two billion people still excluded from financial services, mobile money’s potential for the future is greater still.”