Mobile Money Statistics and Way Forward

If you had any doubt about the success of Mobile money, these statistics can help you. Its true that Mobile Money had limited push and therefore success in some countries but as a whole it is making a big impact to the unbanked and under-banked population of the world. Without saying more (as a lot has been already said) lets look at how this success can be measured.

Since the launch of the GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked programme in 2009, the number of mobile money for the unbanked deployments has grown eightfold, reaching more than 180 deployments around the world with over 30 million active users. At least four countries now have more mobile money accounts than bank accounts and 28 countries have more mobile money agent outlets than bank branches.

When it comes to Mobile Money Kenya has a special place. Every 2 out of 3 Kenyan adults has used mobile money to receive money transfers.All is not going well for Mobile Money in Africa. The mobile money taxes in sub-Saharan Africa are threatening the growth of domestic money transfer services.

International Remittances see good uptake via mobile:

The value of international money transfers made via mobile phones will exceed $10bn for the first time this year, according to Juniper Research. One of the biggest drivers that has emerged is Airtime top ups.

The number of mobile money users today and forecasted for the future differs by various research and advisory firms:

High estimates:

- According to E&Y, the mobile money revolution can be seen in the 590 million mobile phone owners who bank using their phones today, a number expected to top 1 billion by 2017. The trend is most notable in the developing world, where millions of people who lack bank accounts use their mobile phones as electronic wallets, accessing the financial system for the first time. (Recent Estimates)

- Markets & Markets says, The total mobile money users across the world are estimated at 288.2 million users by 2013 to touch 2.7 billion users by 2018, whereas the active users will grow from 75.9 million users to 1.35 billion users over the same period ( 2013 – 2018). (2013 estimates)

- Gartner had estimated that the number of mobile payment users worldwide will reach 245.2 million in 2013, up from 200.8 million in 2012.

Low estimates:

- Nearly 400mn mobile phone users worldwide are expected to use their handsets for mobile money transfer by 2018, up from just under 150mn this year, according to a new report from Juniper Research. (2013 estimates)

- GSMA says that the total registered mobile money accounts globally are 82 million, out of which 30 million are active accounts (March 2013 study)

Note: Difference in numbers could be due to the approach and assumptions taken for estimations. As an example some of the lower numbers above (GSMA) are due to non-inclusion of mobile banking users and the limited universe they have considered.