Mobile money users hit 61m in 2013: GSMA

Fiona Chau
27 Feb 2014

The number of mobile money users has grown to 61 million in June 2013 from 37 million a year earlier, according to a report released by the GSMA.

Meanwhile the number of registered mobile money accounts nearly tripled from 71 million in June 2011 to 203 million in June 2013.

The GSMA announced the findings at Mobile World Congress 2014 in its third annual Mobile Financial Services State of the Industry Report.

According to the report, services have expanded across a greater number of regions, with 219 services in 84 countries at the end of 2013, compared to 179 services in 75 countries at the end of 2012.

The GSMA attributed the positive regulatory reforms for the growth of mobile money services and deployments.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the dominant region accounting for 52% of all live mobile money deployments. However, mobile money is also expanding outside of the region, with, for example, 19 mobile money launches planned in Latin America.

At the end of 2013, nine markets - Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe - had more mobile money accounts than bank accounts, compared to just four markets last year.

In these markets, the mobile money industry has made financial services accessible to more people than the traditional banking industry. There are 123 mobile insurance, mobile credit and savings services, 27 of which were launched in 2013, allowing service providers to deepen financial inclusion by offering financial services beyond money transfer and payments.

The GSMA said that providers are not only launching but overcoming operational challenges to create solid distribution networks and a large base of active customers. Today, 13 services each have more than one million active accounts.

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