The GSMA has released its annual report on the state of the mobile money industry. The report found that there are now more than one billion registered mobile money accounts worldwide, and that the industry as a whole processed roughly $2 billion in transactions every day in 2019.
The number of active accounts is only 372 million, but that still speaks to the growing availability (and popularity) of mobile money services. The GSMA report recorded 290 different services in 95 countries, while the organization argues that mobile money has more reach than traditional financial institutions. As a result, mobile money has the potential to raise financial inclusion in underserved, low-income areas of the world.
“Surpassing one billion mobile money accounts represents a major milestone for an industry that did not exist just over a decade ago,” said GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer John Giusti. “The reach of mobile money agents is now 20 times that of brick-and-mortar banks. The industry holds the potential to ensure that everyone can be part of the new digital economy.”
The report highlights several key trends in the mobile money industry. For example, more mobile money providers are becoming commercially sustainable, and their revenue is being invested in expansion, distribution, and new products and services. For the first time, the report also indicated that the majority (57 percent) of transactions were digital transactions, and there is now more money circulating within the mobile money industry than there is exiting it.
The GSMA notes that mobile money has helped more women gain access to financial services, and made it safer, cheaper, and easier to send remittances and humanitarian assistance across international borders. The 2019 account and transaction numbers are up from 866 million accounts and $1.3 billion in daily transactions in last year’s state of the industry report.