Mobile money key to African financial inclusion, says IMF

Sep 19, 2014

The results of the fifth annual Financial Access Survey (FAS) have been published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), highlighting the impact of mobile money on financial inclusion in Africa.

The results of the fifth annual Financial Access Survey (FAS) have been published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), highlighting the impact of mobile money on financial inclusion in Africa.

The survey was conducted with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands, while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding to capture data on the use of mobile money services.

Commenting on the report, the IMF said the positive correlation between the increase in the use of commercial
banks'
services (a measure of financial inclusion) and the increase in GDP per capita (a measure of economic growth) is especially noteworthy when comparing financial inclusion trends.

The survey highlights that over the past decade, the emergence of mobile money has improved the lives of populations that generally do not use commercial banks, even when access to more conventional banking models remained difficult.

In 2007, mobile money accounts represented just 30 percent of deposit accounts in commercial banks, but by 2009, they surpassed the number of commercial bank deposit accounts. At the same time, the number of mobile money transactions increased by more than 130 times, from close to 5.5 million in 2007 to more than 700 million in 2013. The survey can be accessed via the FAS website (http://fas.imf.org/).ADNFCR-2976-ID-801749461-ADNFCR