WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — New financial inclusion survey data from CGAP offers a first glimpse into mobile money usage in Ghana and Rwanda, where in both countries 17% of adults have active mobile money accounts.

Consultative Group to Assist the Poor is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of the poor by advancing financial inclusion.

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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.”

Rwanda Highlights:

  • 23% of adults have a mobile money account;
  • 17% of adults in Rwanda have active mobile money accounts;
  • 61% of active mobile money account holders are located in rural areas, while 72% lived on less than $2.50 per day;
  • 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.

Ghana Highlights:

  • 20% of adults have a mobile money account;
  • 17% of adults have an active 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.

>> Explore the Survey Data

­About CGAP
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor is a global partnership of 34 leading organizations that seek to advance financial inclusion. CGAP develops innovative solutions through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders to enable approaches at scale. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to responsible market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to increase access to the financial services the poor need to improve their lives.

About Financial Inclusion Insights
The FII research program responds to the need for timely, demand-side data and practical insights on the use of mobile money and other digital financial services (DFS), and the potential for their expanded use among the poor. The program covers 10 countries in Africa and Asia at different stages of DFS development. Research was launched in fall 2013. FII is operated by global research group InterMedia and sponsored by the Financial Services for the Poor program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CGAP. All FII data and research is publicly available through the FII portal: www.finclusion.org

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