GSMA records 1.75 billion mobile money accounts

GSMA records 1.75 billion mobile money accounts

The mobile money market matured as transaction value grew by 14% to US$1.4 trillion and total global registered accounts reached 1.75 billion in 2023, an increase of 12% year-on-year.

In a statement, the industry body detailed in its 2024 Mobile Money Programme report transaction volumes had increased by 23% year-on-year to 85 billion annually. 

Between 2013 and 2022 countries with mobile money services saw a US$600 billion higher GDP than those without, equivalent to mobile money increasing GDP by 1.5%. 

The GSMA noted the rate of growth in registered accounts had slowed compared to 2022 showing the sector is maturing and mobile money is being used more frequently for smaller transactions. 

Mobile money providers found there were was a 98% increase in female subscribers for their platforms between September 2022 and June 2023. In the same time frame, average revenue per user grew from US$2.2 to US$3.2 - an increase of 40%. 

Mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa had grown for two consecutive years by 47% in 2023, the highest since 2019. 

Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for over 70% of the total growth in registered accounts in 2023, with South Asia contributing a fifth. 

Use cases powered by mobile money are “becoming more sophisticated” as providers are now offering adjacent financial products such as credit, savings, and insurance. Credit is the most popular service among those mentioned as take up of credit surged 73% year-on-year. 

West African mobile money powerhouse

Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal recorded a 100% increase in registered accounts from 2013 to 2023, making these markets leaders in mobile money adoption. The growth was driven by positive regulatory frameworks facilitating a shift to digital transactions, and underpinned by the popularity of international remittances and merchant payments. 

The West African Economic and Monetary Union reported 110 million new mobile money accounts between 2018 and 2022. This in turn showed financial inclusion grew from 56% to 71% for a population of over 137 million, with 60% residing in rural areas.

Remaining barriers  

Several barriers still remain for financial inclusion. The biggest challenge is low mobile device ownership, an issue that continues to persist. 

The gender gap remains large as women are 7% less likely to own a mobile device. A gap in mobile ownership exists in all markets except Kenya. 

Other user barriers include perceived relevance, digital skills, social norms, and trust levels.

Another major barrier is high taxation, the GSMA noted Ghana and Tanzania saw negative effects from higher taxes on mobile money transactions. 

GSMA Head of Financial Inclusion & AgriTech, Ashley Olson Onyango, said: “As the industry has started to mature, it is also clear that mobile money offers a sound commercial proposition. Between 2022 and 2023 the average revenue per user rose 40% validating the recent investment that the industry has seen. To ensure mobile money remains safe, accessible, and affordable, there is a clear need for governments and regulators to work with financial service providers to launch financial literacy programmes that can empower underserved populations and improve their financial decision-making.” 


Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.