The COVID-19 pandemic has driven unprecedented financial hardship for businesses and communities around the world, alongside an equally unprecedented uptake in digital tools.
The number of internet users increased by almost a quarter of a billion people between July 2020 and July 2021 according to research by social media management firm Hootsuite, and more than half a billion people joined social media for the first time.
Mobile usage also saw significant increases, with more than 10 million new mobile users each month over this 12-month period. This represents a powerful opportunity to unlock the value of mobile money around the world, and the potential to support vulnerable groups during the pandemic. That means managing the risk of the mobile money ecosystem must be a priority to ensure a fair, transparent, and secure landscape for users and operators.
Mobile money growth
Industry association GSMA reports that the number of registered mobile money accounts grew by 12.7% globally in 2020. More than 136 million accounts were added in the 12 months of 2020, taking the total number of registered accounts globally to 1.2 billion. That rate is double what was previously projected.
GSMA analysis shows that more than 60% of mobile money providers operate some form of partnership with humanitarian agencies in offering financial assistance services, revealing the clear link between this technology and financial assistance.
COVID-19 also presented a new challenge for those struggling with finances, as traditional cash-based transfer of remittance funds were suddenly cut short. Mobile money offered a digital alternative for these remittances that allowed primary earners overseas to provide vital funds to families in other countries. Over USD1bil was processed via mobile money transfer each month in 2020, an estimated 65% year-on-year increase.
Mobile money plays a particularly crucial role in Sub-Saharan Africa, with almost half (46%) of the region’s population subscribing to some form of mobile money service, with an additional 130 million users expected by 2025, making the region a global leader in mobile money adoption. This demonstrates the particular power of this technology to unlock financial opportunities in areas with limited access to traditional financial service infrastructure.
Securing the mobile money landscape
With the volume and value of mobile money transfers accelerating so rapidly during the pandemic, it’s vital to employ an appropriate risk management and fraud protection approach to tackle potential risks.
Neural Technologies’ Mobile Money solution leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to provide robust protection against these problems. It incorporates advanced solutions through know your customer (KYC) and customer due diligence (CDD) monitoring. These sophisticated systems are essential to ensure that bad actors are quickly identified and addressed, and don’t disrupt a mobile money landscape that is so vital to genuine users.
Our mobile money solution identifies key risk factors during the application process, using neural network technology, link analysis, and complex rule monitoring to identify high-risk applicants. It also enables ongoing monitoring throughout the customer lifecycle, assessing activities which may indicate fraud. It incorporates any kind of mobile money transaction, including top-ups, payments, money transactions, and withdrawals.
This comprehensive but sophisticated fraud monitoring provides an important element of regulatory compliance and anti-money laundering capabilities for enterprises without the need for blunt, poorly targeted interventions. That is vital to maintain mobile money provision for customers, without risk of enterprises falling afoul of bad actors that may lead to a suspension of services. This is particularly critical for those workers sending overseas remittances for whom a temporary suspension or delay can deliver real financial hardship to families.
During COVID-19 we’ve seen the importance of digital and technology-driven solutions in addressing financial challenges. Mobile money has been an important piece of that jigsaw. As the projections for growth show the remarkable expected expansion of this landscape, it’s important that enterprises and ecosystems are protected. Neural Technologies’ mobile money solution offers a powerful solution to meet that need, and ensure the landscape for mobile money solutions remains protected from fraud.
Find out more about our Mobile Money solution or contact Neural Technologies today