The mobile money industry in Sub-Saharan Africa continues its rapid expansion.
Despite the growth of unique subscribers steadying, in comparison to previous years’, the penetration rate in 2015 reached 386 million, and is set to increase by a further 132 million over the next 4 years. SIM connections are forecast to reach 982 million by 2020, up from 722 million in 2015.
“Sub-Saharan Africa continues to lead the world in the adoption of mobile money services. At the end of 2014, more than one-fifth of mobile connections in the region were linked to a mobile money account, with more registered mobile money accounts than banks accounts in a number of countries.” – GSMA
Efforts to increase mobile connectivity advance the adoption of mobile financial services. The ongoing transition to mobile broadband with higher speed networks means that 3G adoption will exceed the global average by 2017, and account for more than half of all connections across the African markets by 2020. Mobile broadband connections are to increase in this time frame to 60% from just over 20% of the current connection base. Growing consolidation among operators is also enabling a more inclusive network.
As recently reported by the GSMA on the mobile economy in Africa:
- There are 19 markets in the world which have more mobile money accounts than bank accounts, all but two are in Africa.
- In 2015, year on year growth in the number of active agents in Western Africa was 60.1%, twice the rate of any other region.
- West & Middle Africa hosted 58.3% of all mobile money deployments whose revenue more than doubled between 2014- 2015.
- Cross-border transactions were globally the fastest growing product in 2015, and are gaining popularity in East and West Africa. By the second half of 2014, the value of cross-border remittances on Orange Money accounted for nearly a fifth of all remittances between Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal.