About 17% of adults in Rwanda have active mobile money accounts. This is according to a new financial inclusion survey data from CGAP which offers a first glimpse into mobile money usage in Ghana and Rwanda, where in both countries 17% of adults have active mobile money accounts.
The nationally representative survey of adults provided interesting insights into how many people are using mobile financial services and for what reason. While Kenya and Tanzania have been previously lauded as mobile money success stories, the survey demonstrates new technology can be effective in other African markets such as Rwanda and Ghana.
The findings show that mobile financial services are proving to be critical to connect people in rural areas or living on less than $2.50 per day with formal financial services. In Rwanda, for example, the survey found that 61% of active mobile money users were located in rural areas, while 72% live on less than $2.50 per day. In these cases, mobile money is proving to be some adults’ first inroad into financial inclusion.
Claudia McKay, Senior Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP noted: “There is a ripe market for products that make it easier, faster and cheaper for people to conduct financial transactions. Now it’s a matter of designing products that fit into the everyday lives of people, especially the poor, and that have a strong business case for providers.”
The report also highlighted that 23% of adults have a mobile money account, 61% of active mobile money account holders are located in rural areas, while 72% lived on less than $2.50 per day. Another 25% of active mobile money users pay bills through their accounts and 71% of adults pay for insurance, but only 0.1% do so via mobile money.
In Ghana 20% of adults have a mobile money account, Ghanaians are “mobile ready,” in that 92% have the required form of identification to open an account, 95% are numerate, 91% own a mobile phone, and 74% have sent or received text messages; and 59% of adults pay for insurance, but only 0.1% do so via mobile money.
The survey highlighted that digitizing existing cash payments- such as insurance premiums, savings, or wages – is an opportunity for mobile money to expand in these markets.