An extensive survey across 17 markets found strong interest in mobile financial services among consumers and new opportunities for mobile money operators, telecom providers, and governments.
Boston, MA — Consumers across Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Southeast Asia are bypassing traditional banking services in favor of less expensive and more convenient Mobile Finance Services (MFS) tools on their smartphones, according to a survey of consumers across 17 markets by global strategic consultancy Altman Solon. Widespread adoption of MFS is driven by existing relationships and trust between consumers and mobile service providers, with seven in 10 consumers (70%) stating they generally trust their mobile service provider.
Altman Solon’s Global FinTech Survey spotlights the widespread adoption of MFS in emerging markets. Previously unbanked consumers are embracing less expensive and more convenient tools to traditional banking that are made available on smartphones. The shift from the vault to the phone provides significant opportunities for mobile phone carriers and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) to enter financial services and usher in a new era of financial accessibility for consumers in many emerging markets.
Altman Solon’s survey found users of MFS were nearly 10% more likely to be “highly satisfied” with their mobile provider than non-MFS users, while six in 10 survey respondents (64%) stated their usage of MFS increased their level of satisfaction. Respondents recognized mobile money as easier to use, more accessible, and more transparent than cash, underscoring its strong potential for growth in these markets.
Other key data points include:
• 66% of survey respondents said they trusted banks and financial institutions
• 51% of stores and shops respondents frequented regularly accept mobile payments, while an additional 46% sometimes accept them
• a majority of respondents expressed a willingness to pay, trade, or invest in cryptocurrency if it were offered by their mobile provider
“The survey emphasizes how MFS is opening many doors for mobile providers while creating more transparency, affordability, and financial accessibility for consumers across emerging markets – particularly those who have never previously participated in the financial system. With the growth of FinTech super-apps, crypto, and Web 3.0, the MFS landscape will continue to be reshaped in the future,” said Matt Birtch, Director, Altman Solon.
“For many people living in the regions we surveyed, including Latin America, mobile providers are the most important consumer relationship. There are significant benefits for mobile providers to expand relationships with existing subscribers and attracting new ones. Altman Solon’s report finds that there are lessons from recent MFS rollouts and understanding consumer behavior that can help mobile providers and their partners ensure a successful implementation,” said Altman Solon Partner Daniel Torras.
In developing this report, Altman Solon also interviewed experts at MMOs and payment service providers to build a comprehensive view of the current state of MFS and a look at where mobile money will take us in the future.