The number of mobile money account owners in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa has grown significantly in the past year, according to a report by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). Mobile money account ownership increased from 16 percent to 22 percent among all adults who are aware of mobile money and have used a mobile phone. The recent Payment Service Bank license granted to MTN and Airtel by the Central Bank of Nigeria was responsible for the growth, the report said.
Digital transactions are growing as cash usage slows down. Transaction values grew by 22 percent between 2021 and 2022, from $1tn to around $1.26tn, and the share of cash-based transactions in the overall transaction mix declined, with cash-in and cash-out transactions dropping nearly two percentage points.
GSMA noted that Nigeria’s liberalized regulatory regime led to an increase in mobile money agents, responsible for two-thirds of all cash-in transactions in 2022. The number of mobile money agents grew from 12 million in 2021 to around 17 million in 2022 – a staggering 41 percent year-on-year increase.