Analytical Corner: Does Mobile Money Count as Money?


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Does Mobile Money Count as Money?

Mobile money is an early front runner of fintech innovation and has transformed the way people access financial services in many developing economies. Ever since mobile money was launched in Africa in 2007, it has revolutionized financial inclusion providing traditionally unbanked populations with a convenient means to receive and send payments using a basic mobile phone. The Covid-19 pandemic has only reinforced the importance of this modest yet powerful financial innovation as a safe means of carrying out transactions with minimal physical contact. With the growing presence of mobile money, policymakers are increasingly asking questions of how mobile money affects macroeconomic variables monitored for policy purposes, particularly broad money, a key monetary indicator.

The Analytical Corner, based on a recent IMF working paper, will explain how mobile money is counted as part of money in the economy, according to the international statistical standards, and elaborate how the statistical guidance translates to practice, depending on the mobile money regulatory framework in the country.


Bidisha Das

Statistics Department, IMF