Mobile money growth ‘hugely evident’ in sub-Saharan Africa, says GSMA report

07 April 2022

Mobile money adoption and use saw continued growth in 2021, processing a record US$1tn annually, according to a new report from the GSMA.

The annual State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money says the industry enjoyed a substantial increase in the number of registered accounts, up 18% since 2020 reaching 1.35 billion globally. The volume of person-to-person transactions were up to more than 1.5 million every hour.

Furthermore, the report reveals that one of the most significant drivers of growth was merchant payments, which almost doubled year on year. Other highlights include how mobile money continues to act as a core pillar of financial and economic inclusion, particularly for women.

Globally, mobile money growth was hugely evident in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021, the mobile money industry had 316 live services, 1.35bn registered accounts, 346 million active accounts, US$53.9bn in transaction volume and US$1tn in transaction value.

“Regionally, Africa contributed the following to the overall 2021 mobile money figures: 173 live services, 621 million registered accounts, 184 million active accounts, $36.7bn in transaction volume and US$701.4-bn in transaction value,” GSMA said.

  • Eastern Africa contributed 59 live services, 296 million registered accounts, 102 million active accounts, US$24bn in transaction volume and US$403.4bn in transaction value.
  • Western Africa contributed 69 live services, 237 million registered accounts, 58 million active accounts, US$9.3bn in transaction volume and US$239.3-billion in transaction value.
  • Central Africa contributed 19 live services, 60 million registered accounts, 19 million active accounts, US$2.9-bn in transaction volume and US$50.1-billon in transaction value.