Triple rise in mobile financial services in Africa

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Nearly half of all consumers in sub-Saharan Africa have used mobile financial services this year, which translates to more than a three-fold increase in the past six years, reveals Ericsson’s new consumer report. the market.

The report, titled Mobile Financial Services on the Rise, also highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the adoption of mobile financial services, with 54% of consumers saying they made more use of mobile financial services transactions. now than before. About 70% were more receptive to mobile financial services as the preferred contactless alternative to cash.

The report builds on research conducted by Ericsson Consumer and Industry Lab in early 2021. A total of 3,200 consumers were surveyed in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, Côte d ‘Ivory, Ghana and Ethiopia. The growth of mobile financial services has also been examined in light of technological and infrastructure gains in the region, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on financial behavior.

Lucky La Riccia, Ericsson’s vice president and head of digital services for the Middle East and Africa, said the new research highlighted the important role that mobile financial services have played in sub-Saharan Africa, both for to combat the impact of the pandemic and to fuel economic development across Africa through the transformative potential of expanded and affordable access to financial solutions.

“Our goal is to support the digitization of Africa through technologies such as mobile broadband. Ericsson’s mobile financial solutions support this goal as we accelerate financial inclusion, ”said La Riccia.

Comparing data from 2015 and 2021, mobile money use tripled in Ghana, quadrupled in Angola and increased tenfold, from low levels, in Nigeria. The survey showed that Ghanaian consumers had the highest levels of usage, at 90%. This figure was around 80% for Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, while Nigeria and Ethiopia were still in the early stages of using mobile money. In addition, most non-users were now at least aware of mobile money, which was not the case in 2015.

Traffic data has confirmed wide adoption, showing that Sub-Saharan Africa has been at the forefront of the mobile money industry for more than a decade, and multi-source traffic data has confirmed the rise of technology in the region. Last year there were 27.4 billion transactions in the region, an increase of 15% in one year.

According to the 2021 report by the industry organization GSMA, the deal was worth $ 490 billion (73 trillion rand), almost a quarter more than the previous year. The report also states that in 2020, there were 157 live mobile money services in sub-Saharan Africa, up 9% from 144 in 2019. This represented more than half of all live services in the region. world.

There were now 548 million registered accounts in the region, a 12% increase over the last year, making the title ‘mobile money epicenter’ more appropriate for the region as it continues to represent the region. majority of the growth, with 43% of all new accounts worldwide.

Another way to confirm the growth in the use of mobile money in the region was analyzing the number of mobile money app downloads. A mobile money app in Nigeria started with 7,375 downloads in 2017. Mobile money use has more than tripled in Ghana, Nigeria and Angola since 2015, and registered three million in February this year. . As another example, a mobile money app in Ghana saw a 10.2-fold increase in downloads between 2016 and 2021.

The use of banking and non-banking information from the ConsumerLab study in 2016 showed that mobile money services have become the bridge between banks and the unbanked, as a viable substitute for traditional banking services. This year’s study showed that an equal share of banked and unbanked people still use mobile money services on their devices.

Additionally, mobile money use was correlated with socioeconomic class, meaning that socioeconomic classes AB, especially urban males with smartphones, were the typical adopter. Interestingly, mobile money was not a particular phenomenon among young or established middle-aged people, as uptake of these services was similar across all age groups.

The report pointed out that users indicated that faster transactions are the number one factor that will encourage them to use mobile money services more often in the near future. Around 70% believed faster transactions would encourage them to use more mobile money services, while 51% pointed to increased security.

Most non-users were now familiar with mobile financial services, with up to eight in ten saying they were very interested in starting to use them.

Communication service providers (CSPs) were the most popular mobile financial service provider, with up to 90% of sub-Saharan African mobile financial service users now using the technology through these companies.

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