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Sub-Saharan Africa Remains a Forerunner in the Mobile Money Space

Africa now accounts for 70% of the world’s $1 trillion mobile money value. The value of Africa’s mobile money transactions edged up 39% to $701.4 billion in 2021 from $495 billion in 2020, highlighting the future of African banking is mobile. GSMA’s figures released on Apr. 21, show the volume of mobile money transactions jumped 23% to 36.7 billion in 2021 from 27.5 billion in 2020. In the review period, registered mobile wallets in Africa topped 621 million, a 17% increase from 562 million captured in 2020. According to GSMA, the total global transaction value in 2021 was $1.045 trillion, up 31% from 2020. While the trillion-dollar mark was a long-awaited goal of the industry, the GSMA had initially predicted it would not be achieved until 2023. But several years of strong growth have prompted earlier forecasts to be revised more than once, due in part to the push for digitization during the covid-19 pandemic. There are now over 184 million active mobile money wallets on the continent compared to 161 million accounts just over a year before. In the coming years, the GSMA projects growth to come from both long-established mobile money markets and markets where mobile money services are still nascent, especially in South Asia and African countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Angola.