A global lobby for mobile network operators has said mobile money adoption and use saw continued growth in 2021, processing a record $1 trillion (Sh114 trillion) annually.
The GSM association (GSMA) head of mobile for development Max Cuvellier said the industry is key to business growth.
“Beyond traditional person-to-person transactions, such as transferring money to family or friends, the industry is now central in helping small businesses operate more efficiently, and serve their customers better."
The 10th Annual State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money released last week cited Safaricom’s M-Pesa, saying since it began allowing companies to register for accounts online, with more than 18 per cent of the new merchants now self-onboarding.
GSMA said the industry enjoyed a substantial increase in the number of registered accounts, up 18 per cent since 2020. Mobile money plays a key role in the daily lives of people and businesses, especially in low and middle-income countries.
It highlighted how mobile money continues to act as a core pillar of financial and economic inclusion, particularly for women.
The report shows mobile money is empowering women to take more control of their finances and purchase goods. Overall, 143 million fewer women own a mobile phone than men.
The report added that the volume of person-to-person transactions were up to more than 1.5 million every hour.