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Active Mobile Money Customers Reached 61M in 2013

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

March 03, 2014

Active Mobile Money Customers Reached 61M in 2013

By Rory Lidstone
TMCnet Contributing Writer

With the popularity of mobile devices at an all-time high, it’s not exactly surprising that various uses for such devices are on the rise as well. Take, for example, mobile commerce which was somewhat late to the game compared to, say, social media. However, now that trust has been established, the spending and handling of money via smartphone is becoming increasingly common at a rapid rate.

Or at least that’s what the GSMA’s (News - Alert) Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) program claims in its latest Mobile Financial Services State of the Industry Report, which states that the number of active mobile money users continues to grow year over year. The report aims to provide a quantitative assessment of the state of mobile financial services, including mobile money, mobile insurance, mobile credit and mobile savings.

"Each year our review reveals greater insights on the wide range of uses of mobile money and on how operators are working collaboratively in developing mobile money services to meet growing customer demand," said Tom Phillips (News - Alert), chief regulatory officer for the GSMA, in a statement.

According to the report, there were more than 61 million mobile money accounts active as of June 2013, up from only 37 million a year prior. Meanwhile, the number of registered mobile money accounts jumped from 71 million in June 2011 to 203 million in June 2013. Considering holiday mobile commerce numbers were strong in 2013, it’s safe to assume this growth won’t slow down any time soon.

One major factor in this is the fact that mobile money services have expanded geographically in the last year, with 219 services in 84 countries at the end of 2013 as compared to 179 services in 75 countries toward the end of 2012.

Positive regulatory reforms are also a factor contributing to the growth of the industry. Likewise, an increasing number of providers are overcoming operational challenges to create stronger distribution networks and a large base of active customers.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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