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GSMA: Operators Commit to Accelerate Interoperable Mobile Money Services across Africa and the Middle East
|By Business Wire
|April 30, 2014 03:04 AM EDT
The GSMA today announced that nine mobile network operators, including
Bharti Airtel, Etisalat Group, Millicom, MTN Group, Ooredoo Group,
Orange, STC Group, Vodafone Group and Zain Group, have committed to work
together to accelerate the implementation of interoperable mobile money
services across Africa and the Middle East regions. Collectively, these
operators account for 582 million mobile connections across 48 countries
in Africa and the Middle East. The GSMA’s Mobile Money Interoperability
(MMI) programme is a global programme which also includes mobile network
operators from other regions and focuses on helping them to successfully
launch and scale interoperable mobile money services through identifying
and sharing best practices, guidelines and processes, creating
performance benchmarks, and providing regulatory support.
“We have seen the significant benefits of mobile financial inclusion in
the developing world and operators recognise that, through
collaboration, there are opportunities to extend this inclusion even
further,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “Mobile network
operators are engaging with each other, with banks, financial
institutions, regulators, governments and ecosystem partners, to
identify and implement solutions that will successfully allow more
mobile financial services to be delivered to a broader range of people
across both regions, while maintaining high service quality. We are very
pleased that these operators are taking the next steps in providing
convenient, affordable and ubiquitous financial services to men and
women across the region.”
Mobile Money Market Landscape
It is estimated that 2.5 billion people in lower to middle income
countries lack access to financial services and cannot adequately invest
in their livelihoods, protect their assets nor mitigate shocks that
cause them to fall deeper into poverty. However, it is estimated that
1.7 billion of these people have a mobile phone, providing existing
infrastructure that can be used to sustainably offer financial services
such as payments, transfers, insurance, savings, credit and cross-border
remittances. GSMA research has shown that the number of active mobile
money users continues to grow rapidly, with more than 61 million
accounts active as of 2013.
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is widely recognised as a pioneering market for
mobile money and is home to 52 per cent of all live mobile money
deployments worldwide. In some of the Middle East and North Africa
(MENA) countries, although there are a number of regulatory challenges
that have slowed down the growth of mobile money, it is now gaining
popularity in the region. At the end of 2013, deployments in MENA
represented six per cent of the live mobile money services globally and
13 per cent of total planned services, indicating that the region will
become increasingly important for the industry globally.
As of December 2013, mobile money in the Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle
East and North Africa regions showed significant growth:
The regions accounted for 58 per cent of the world’s 218 mobile money
Sixty-six per cent of all registered accounts and 73 per cent of
active accounts are located in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East
and North Africa; and
Mobile money users in these regions accounted for 77 per cent of
global transaction value in June 2013, performing 341 million
transactions totalling USD $5.7 billion.
Bouverot continued, “Mobile money is a young industry, with over 80 per
cent of all deployments launched during or after 2010. In order to
accelerate the growth of mobile money, we call on telecommunications,
financial sector regulators and policymakers to provide a policy and
fiscal environment that enables these services to be rolled out
successfully to promote a nascent and important driver of commerce and
Notes to Editors
Unless otherwise stated, market data figures are provided from the
GSMA’s own reports including the annual state of the Global Mobile
Adoption Industry reports. A full copy of the most recent report can be
found at: http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/state-of-the-industry-2013.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators
worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800
of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the
broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies,
equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in
industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media,
transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events
such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com
or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications
industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com.
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