More than 60 Per Cent of Kenyan GDP Came From Mobile Money in June 2012, a New Survey Shows

Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Money Services Rapidly Grow Amongst The Unbanked

Over 30 million users actively used mobile payments in 2012, the results of the second annual Global Mobile Money Adoption Survey show.

The results, which were released on Wednesday, come from the GSMA's Mobile Money for the Unbanked programme and analyses the state of mobile money around the world in 2012.

The research, obtained through tracking made and pending mobile transactions, shows that the number of active users grew to more than 30 million people, with 224.2 million transactions occurring, all amounting to an impressive $4.6 billion – and that was in the month of June 2012 alone.

To put this into perspective, PayPal only managed to scrape in 196.3 million transactions across all of Q3 2012.

2012 also saw a massive growth in the mobile money industry as a whole, with 41 new services launched and 40 markets identified of having at least two different mobile money services available to the public.

The report also found that:

  • There are 81.8 million customers registered globally on mobile money services, which is a growth of nearly 38 per cent.
  • Six services have more than 1 million active customer accounts
  • In the last 12 months, three of those have crossed the 1 million active customers threshold
  • Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa has been incredibly rapid with 56.9 million customers in the region
    • In June 2012 there were twice as many mobile money users as Faceboook users in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • More than half of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have live deployments of mobile money services
    • 37 per cent of the 166 Sub-Saharan African mobile network operators have launched a mobile money service
    • This means that mobile money services are available in 34 of the 47 countries in the region
    • The majority of mobile money deployments are to take place in Sub-Saharan Africa too
    • There are more mobile money accounts than bank accounts in Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda
    • There are also more mobile money agent outlets than bank branches in at least 28 countries
    • With over 520,000 registered agent outlets, there are now as many mobile money outlets as Western Union POS
    • In some countries, the total value of mobile money transactions is equivalent to a significant proportion of a country's overall GDP
      • In June 2012 it was equivalent to more than 60 per cent of GDP in Kenya
      • More than 30 per cent of GDP in Tanzania
      • And more than 20 per cent of GDP in Uganda

As you can see, mobile money is very much the future of banking in these regions where the vast majority of the population count as unbanked.

Do you think these statistics are surprising at all?

Are they enough to make a move out into Sub-Saharan Africa a smart business decision?

Or is the market becoming far too crowded, far too quickly?

Let us know by leaving your thoughts below.


If you'd like to capitalise upon the strong growth of mobile money services in Africa and other regions around the world, Cards & Payments Africa 2013 is exactly where you want to be.

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *