Nine mobile network operators in Africa and the Middle East have made a commitment to work together to accelerate the implementation of interoperable mobile money services across the regions, according to the GSM Association (GSMA), the global mobile industry pressure group.
The operators include Bharti Airtel, Etisalat Group, Millicom, MTN Group, Ooredoo Group, Orange, STC Group, Vodafone Group and Zain Group collectively account for 582 million mobile connections across 48 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA says “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. 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.”
GSMA research shows that the number of active mobile money users has been growing rapidly, with more than 61 million accounts active as at December, 2013.
According to the research, mobile money in the Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East and North Africa regions shows that the regions accounted for 58 percent of the world’s 218 mobile money deployments,66 percent of all registered accounts and 73 percent 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 worth $5.7 billion.
Bouverot continues, “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 socio-economic development.”