2019 marked a major milestone for the mobile money industry: the number of registered mobile money accounts surpassed one billion.
This year’s State of the Industry Report looks at what one billion registered accounts signify for the mobile money industry, mobile money users and the future of the mobile money ecosystem. The report looks at some of the biggest trends in 2019:
A growing number of providers are becoming commercially sustainable
The industry continues to invest in distribution networks and sustainable agent income
Providers are shifting to a ‘payments as a platform’ model
The digitisation of payments has reached new heights
More value is circulating in the mobile money system than exiting
The industry is increasingly interoperable and integrated
The regulatory landscape is evolving
The mobile money industry is uniquely positioned to help Savings Groups go digital.
Saving habits have a strong community dimension in developing markets, traditionally rooted in trust and long-standing relationships. In regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, the epicentre of mobile money, more adults save with a Savings Group than a financial institution, providing an opportunity for the mobile money industry to digitize Savings Groups in a variety of forms.
Like individual savings products, digitizing Savings Groups via mobile money is more efficient and secure. Savings group managers can record transactions and manage pay-outs transparently and accurately, while members report a greater sense of security from going cash-free. First attempts at digitizing Savings Groups have seen mobile money providers either launching their own services, such as M-PESA Chama in Kenya, EcoCash Savings Club in Zimbabwe and M-Koba in Tanzania, or partnering with start-ups that have developed dedicated products to run on their mobile money rails, such as Ensibuuko in Uganda.