According to a report by the GSMA on the state of the industry on mobile money as of 2015, a brief was shared by Janet Shulist showing the regions of the world in which mobile money is available. From the chart below we see that Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the most unbanked areas in the world, is adapting faster to the use of mobile money to make transactions (although the rates are not as equal in individual countries themselves, some are progressing faster than others e.g Kenya much faster than Zambia).
The total number of mobile money services has grown to 271 worldwide, and many service providers have initiatives that allow for cross-border remittances to boost trade in regions they are found in. Some examples are WorldRemit which allows cross transfers between people in the diaspora to send money back home through MTN’s mobile money service. Read about that here. The GSMA accounted for at least 29 cross-border mobile money remittance services amongst 19 countries.
Shulist added that:
‘As of December 2015, almost two-thirds of markets where mobile money is available have two or more live mobile money services (60 of 93 markets) and more than one-third have three or more live mobile money services (35 markets, with a median of five services per market). With competition continuing to intensify in markets, so too does interest in interoperability. In 2015, account-to-account interoperability launched in three new markets— Madagascar, Rwanda, and Thailand. Last month, interoperability was announced in the Philippines as well. This follows the implementation of interoperability in Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania in 2014 and 2013.’
Why isn’t mobile money a big deal in Zambia yet if it’ll push for financial inclusion of the most remote areas? Read our thoughts on that here.