Surprise! Guess Which Country is 2nd for Mobile Money Globally?


We all know that M-PESA in Kenya dominates the mobile money conversation in Africa, where mobile banking has expanded to 16% of the market. So its easy to assume that Kenyans have the highest usage of mobile money anywhere in the world.
Look who is second on the list: Sudan!
Surprising eh? It shouldn’t be. Yes, only 13 per cent of South Sudan’s eight million people currently own a mobile phone, and there are fewer than 0.01% have bank accounts, but that looks like opportunity to mobile money operators. Zain already has 40% of the South Sudan mobile market and they predict that by 2016, mobile money will have a turnover of $1.03 billion.
Where is Tanzania?
When I mentioned this data on Twitter, Martin Warioba had an interesting response:
I am surprised that Tanzania doesn’t feature on the list. Is it possible to see data breakdown? I can see data collection being a challenge with #Tanzania. At times, it feels like it is a guess work.
I agree that the data feels suspect – how can Sudan have more mobile money activity than Tanzania? I have the same question about the Philippines, where GCash dominates. Yet here is the World Bank report, which on page 25 starts to detail the mobile money sector and looks to be legit.
So it is time to accept that Sudan is second in mobile money globally?