The Next Wave: And the Grammy for financial inclusion goes to…
136 million new accounts were created within the year to increase the total number of registered accounts to 1.2 billion. At least 300 million of those accounts were used actively on a monthly basis — an unprecedented figure in mobile money history.
What were those accounts actively used for? A major one was remittances.
About $1 bn was processed per month in 2020 between the 310 live mobile money services available in 96 countries, per the GSMA.Total international remittances done through mobile money increased by 65% – from $7.7 bn in 2019 to $12.7 bn in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic was partly responsible for the increase in outbound remittances. As the world went into lockdown, bank branches closed, locking many people out of the money transfer systems they were familiar with. So individuals signed up to become mobile money agents to help people send and receive money across the world.
There are now at least 4.8 million active agents around the world, an 18% increase over 2019.
Africa remains the MoMo base
There are 159 million monthly active accounts in Africa; this figure represents more than half of the global total. South Asia trails behind with 66 million active accounts.