A new Consumer and Market Insight report by Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company, Ericsson has revealed that nearly half of all consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa use mobile financial services in 2021, indicating a more-than-three-fold increase in the last six years.

Tagged Mobile Financial Services on the Rise report, it attributed Covid-19 pandemic to the rise of mobile financial services uptake, with 54 percent of consumers saying that they use mobile financial services transactions more now.

“About 70 percent are more positive towards mobile financial services as a preferred contactless alternate to cash. They also believe that faster transactions would encourage them to use mobile money services more in the future,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, commenting on the report, Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services, Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “This new research underlines the significant empowering role that mobile financial services play in Sub-Saharan Africa, both in combating the impact of the pandemic and in fuelling economic development across Africa through the transformational potential of expanded and affordable access to financial solutions.”

He added that the aim of the report is to support the digitalization of Africa through technologies such as mobile broadband, disclosing that Ericsson’s mobile financial solutions support this aim as we accelerate financial inclusion.

The report research was conducted by Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab in early 2021. It surveyed 3,200 consumers across six Sub-Saharan African countries – Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Ethiopia – to assess the growth of mobile financial services in light of technology and infrastructure gains across the region, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic impact on financial behavior.

The report highlights that users list faster transactions as the number one factor that would encourage them to use mobile money services more often in the near future. About 70 percent believe that faster transactions would encourage them to use mobile money services more while 51 percent highlighted higher security.

Most non-users are now aware of mobile financial services, with as many as 8-in-10 saying they are very interested to start using them.

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are the most popular mobile financial services supplier, with up to 90 percent of Sub-Saharan African mobile financial services users now using the technology through these companies.

Mobile financial services are currently enabling basic financial services such as withdrawal, transfer, storing money, as well as advanced services such as microfinance and insurance.


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