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Landscape Report: Mobile Money, Humanitarian Cash Transfers and Displaced Populations

2017 — By GSMA

Over the past decade, natural disasters and complex emergencies have led to a sharp increase in the need for humanitarian assistance. By the end of 2015, an estimated 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced globally, due to conflict and persecution. That same year, natural disasters caused the internal displacement of a further 19.2 million people. Displaced populations are predominantly located in developing countries, in urban areas, where mobile money services may be more widespread than banks or other formal financial institutions.

GSMA data shows that at least 19 markets have more mobile money accounts than bank accounts and 37 countries have ten times as many registered mobile money agents as they have bank branches. At the same time, displaced people are increasingly connected, living in places covered by mobile networks and with mobile phone ownership rates that rival those of the world’s overall population.