Author: Ollen Machimbirike


Date: 17 May 2016

Mobile Money Penetration

About 2 billion adults globally lack access to formal financial services. In Kenya and Tanzania, more adults have mobile money accounts than bank accounts. Progress is also happening elsewhere specifically in Rwanda an Ghana. The pace of mobile money according to the Financial Inclusion Insights Survey (funded by CGAP), is similar, although slower to take off in Kenya and Tanzania.
In Ghana, the number of active accounts has more than doubled between 2014 and 2015, and transaction volume tripling between between 2013 and 2015. Other markets not surveyed in the report have significantly lower penetration.
For people living in rural areas or on less than USD 2.50 per day, mobile money is emerging as a common source of financial inclusion. In Ghana, rural access has doubled since 2010, and in Rwanda, people living below the poverty line are more likely to be active mobile money users than those with higher incomes.
At the AFSIC Conference in London, May 5-6, 2016, on the panel on mobile money chaired by Ed Higenbottam, Managing Director of Verdant Capital, opinions differed as to the causes of the significant discrepancies in penetration. Chris Williamson, Principal Manager for strategy for M-Pesa, attributed the different levels of mobile money penetration to different regulatory environments. Pat Wilson, VP for Quona Capital, also attributed the different penetration levels to different levels of competition. The full recording of the panel will be available on our website later this month.

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