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COVID-19: GSMA Predicts Rise in Mobile Money Transactions

The  GSM Association (GSMA) has suggested that the global health crisis (COVID-19) will push up the number of mobile transactions.

This is coming as African countries continue to urge consumers to use digital banking services and mobile money platforms to transact, as cash exchange is increasingly seen as a risk amid the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the organisation’s annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’ 2019 marked a major milestone for the mobile money industry, with over one billion registered accounts and close to US$2-billion in daily transactions.

For the first time, digital transactions represented the majority, 57%, of mobile money interactions.

 

The GSMA adds that the industry is witnessing increasing user trust and relevance. With 290 live services in 95 countries and 372 million active accounts, mobile money is entering the mainstream and becoming the path to financial inclusion in most low-income countries.

ALSO READ: Telcos Contribution to Nigeria’s GDP to Increase over Covid-19 Outbreak

For consumers, this marks a shift away from cash towards digital payments — for school fees, e-commerce, international remittances, savings, credit, pay-as-you-go utilities and more, it says.

John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA, says “Increased mobile connectivity and innovative services such as mobile money are building stronger and more inclusive communities. Surpassing one billion mobile money accounts represents a major milestone for an industry that did not exist just over a decade ago.

“The reach of mobile money agents is now 20 times that of bricks-and-mortar banks. Almost 1.7 billion people remain financially excluded, but the collective strength of the industry holds the potential to ensure that everyone can be part of the new digital economy.”

Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA, confirms the expectation that COVID-19 pandemic will trigger a spike in mobile money adoption.

“The adoption of mobile money has been growing steadily in sub Saharan Africa particularly in new markets like West Africa coupled with increasing depth and sophistication of services in older markets like East Africa.

“Mobile money adoption and increase in transactions will see a surge following the COVID19 pandemic as governments seek to reduce cash transactions, reduce face to face transactions and employ mobile money for P2G payments and distribution of government cash palliatives to citizens.”

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