Unbanked mobile money market blooming

Michael Carroll
28 Feb 2013

The number of commercial mobile money services for unbanked consumers grew by 41 to 150 in 2012, figures from the GSM Association (GSMA) show.

In its second annual survey of the market, announced at the Mobile World Congress, the GSMA reveals that 30 million people undertook 224.2 million transactions worth $4.6 billion in June 2012 alone, eclipsing the number of transactions processed by established online remittance firm PayPal during the entire third quarter of the year by 27.9 million.

The GSMA’s figures also show that six service providers now have at least a million active users, and that the total number of customers registered with mobile money providers globally hit 81.8 million in 2012. The majority of those (56.9 million) are located in sub-Saharan Africa, where 37% of the 166 mobile network operators have launched mobile money services.

Chris Locke, managing director of GSMA Mobile for Development, notes the “social and financial benefits of mobile money” will increase as the industry matures.


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