By Steve Umidha
Mobile money adoption and use saw continued growth in 2021, processing a record $1 trillion annually, latest findings show.
The industry enjoyed a substantial increase in the number of registered accounts, up 18 percent since 2020 reaching 1.35 billion globally, according to figures by GSM – an association industry organisation that represents interests of 750 mobile network operators globally.
While announcing the figures in its 10th annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’, if found that the volume of person-to-person transactions were up to more than 1.5 million every hour.
The study further found that mobile money continues to act as a core pillar of financial and economic inclusion, particularly for women.
Merchant payments were instrumental in the growth of the mobile money industry in 2021. The value of merchant payments almost doubled, reaching an average of $5.5 billion in transactions per month.
Providers are demonstrating that they can attract businesses to their platform with better incentives, such as efficient remote onboarding processes. For example, since Safaricom’s M-PESA began allowing companies to register for an account online in Kenya, more than 18% of new merchants are self-onboarding.
“The year 2021 was the year mobile money started to really diversify to B2B services. Beyond traditional person-to-person transactions, such as transferring money to family or friends, the industry is now central in helping small businesses operate more efficiently, and serve their customers better” said Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA.
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