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2021 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money

2020 was a year like no other. In every region of the world, COVID-19 triggered a mix of responses, from school and workplace closures to restrictions on movement to complete lockdown. All at once, handling cash, paying for daily essentials, and conducting business in person became risky, and more people than ever turned to mobile money as a safer option. For mobile money providers, the pandemic created a more complex operating environment. With consumer spending down and transaction fees waived, providers found it difficult to reap the commercial benefits of higher mobile money usage and a widespread shift from cash to digital. However, the industry proved resilient as providers did their utmost to keep economies going and provide an essential service to people in need.

The State of the Industry report looks at what this year of upheaval has meant for mobile money providers, agent networks, and the millions of new and existing customers that embraced mobile money in 2020 as a safe and secure financial lifeline. The report examines the major industry trends in 2020.


The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.