With 50 million new accounts created on the continent in 2019 and a 12% increase in registered users, Africa is by far the leading continent for mobile-money services. However, growth is uneven from one region to another.
According to statistics from a new report from the GSMA trade body, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to outpace other regions when it comes to mobile-money services.
In 2019, 50 million sub-Saharan Africans created a mobile-money account via a mobile phone, representing a 12% increase compared to 2018 and bringing the total number of users up to 469 million across the region. An estimated 181 million of them are active users.
The total value of the 23.8bn transactions carried out in 2019 exceeds $456bn, representing a nearly 28% jump compared to 2018 and proving that sub-Saharan Africa beats all records in the sector, as this figure is 3.5 times the value of transactions recorded in South Asia, the second-highest ranked region in terms of mobile-money services.
Sub-Saharan Africa, which has 144 mobile-money services to date, has also been the driver behind the global rise of the sector since 2009.
“At that time, there were already a few players like M-Pesa who demonstrated that demand was strong for these services, and that persuaded others to launch their own ventures,” says Sylvain Morlière, head of mobile financial services at Sofrecom, a telecommunications consultancy firm.
Within the region’s borders, the growth of mobile-money services has nevertheless been uneven.