A new survey from the GSMA dubbed the 2013 Mobile Money Adoption Survey shows that mobile phones and mobile network operators (MNOs) have become a major tool driving financial inclusion for the world’s unbanked and under-banked with at least nine services serving over 1 million active users.
The survey indicates that there are now 208 live mobile money for the unbanked services in 83 countries, compared to 178 in 74 countries as of January, and an additional 117 deployments are planned over the coming months.
According to Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Mobile for Development,“The impressive and encouraging results of the study demonstrate that mobile money services are increasingly reaching scale and are becoming even more essential in providing convenient and affordable financial services to the underserved.”
Competitive landscape for mobile money services
The survey also indicates that there is competitive landscape for mobile money services and that there are now at least two or more mobile money services available in 51 markets, compared to 40 markets at the end of 2012 and 33 at the end of 2011. Further, 24 of these markets each have three or more mobile money services, giving even greater choice to consumers.
The survey also adds that mobile money is now becoming a mainstream service for MNOs rather than a differentiator; this is especially true in Sub-Saharan Africa, which boasts 53 per cent of all live mobile money services and where services are available in 36 out of 47 countries in the region.
Mobile money is now becoming a mainstream service for MNOs
The Adoption Survey gives insights into the development of mobile money services globally and shows specifically how mobile money is enabling the financial inclusion of unbanked and under-banked people. There is increasing adoption of mobile money services by customers by the day, three mobile money services already each exceeded 1 million active users between June 2012 and June 2013. Kenya’s M-Pesa has over 20 million users and is growing by the day. Just yesterday the KCB Group launched a service dubbed M-Benki to allow users open and run bank accounts using their mobile phones.