More Africa News$ 490 billion passed through Mobile Money in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2020, up 23% (GSMA)

June 25, 2021by myles0

The Covid-19 strongly impacted mobile payment in sub-Saharan Africa last year. The social restrictions imposed by the disease have prompted people to pay more without contact. For the World Bank, there is food for thought to improve financial inclusion.

In its report “State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021”, the World Association of Telephone Operators (GSMA) reveals that Africa remained the leader in Mobile Money in 2020. The segment has also recorded growth . The number of accounts increased by 12%, from 469 million in 2019 to 548 million accounts in 2020. The volume of financial transactions grew by 15%, from 23.8 billion to 27.4 billion. The financial value of transactions also increased, by 23%, from 456.3 billion USD to 490 billion USD in 2020. Sub-Saharan Africa hosted 45.67% of registered Mobile Money accounts worldwide and generated 63.89 % of the value of global financial transactions which amounted to 767 billion USD.

According to Mats Granryd, the CEO of the World Association of Telephone Operators (GSMA), this growth has been supported by the global health crisis. “  When the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020, it quickly became apparent that mobile technology and mobile money in particular would have a disproportionate role to play in keeping people connected, providing vital financial support and provide safe, contactless means to pay for food, electricity and other basic necessities. With more than $ 2 billion in transactions every day, mobile money has become a new daily routine for millions of people around the world,  ”he explained.

During the Covid-19 crisis, many African governments like Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Cameroon and Gabon encouraged their populations to adopt mobile payment to curb the spread of the virus during physical exchanges . To support this call from the authorities, telecom operators have exempted transaction fees for sending and withdrawing money, paying bills, etc. Millions of people have benefited from free services for almost a year.

The growth recorded in Mobile Money in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 has helped to advance the level of financial inclusion on the continent where the banking rate is low. In its policy note “COVID-19 AND DIGITAL FINANCIAL INCLUSION IN AFRICA How to leverage digital technologies during the pandemic”, published in October 2020, the World Bank estimated that the pandemic also represented a mine of opportunities to create technological innovations in the financial sector. 

Source: Agence Ecofin

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