Is Mobile Money Part of Money? Understanding the Trends and Measurement

Author/Editor:

Kazuko Shirono ; Esha Chhabra ; Bidisha Das ; Yingjie Fan ; Hector Carcel Villanova

Publication Date:

July 1, 2021

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

The rapid uptake of mobile money in recent years has generated new data needs and growing interest in understanding its impact on broad money. This paper reviews mobile money trends using mobile money data from the Financial Access Survey (FAS) and examines the statistical treatment of mobile money under the IMF’s Monetary and Financial Statistics (MFS) framework. MFS guidance is straightforward in most cases, as many jurisdictions have adopted regulations which ensure that mobile money is captured in the banking system and thus in the calculation of broad money. However, in cases where mobile network operators (MNOs) act as niche financial intermediaries outside the banking regulatory perimeter and are allowed to invest their customer funds in sovereign securities and other permitted assets, mobile money liabilities may remain outside the banking system as well as monetary statistics. In that case, information on mobile money liabilities need to be collected directly from MNOs to account for mobile money as part of broad money.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2021/177

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

July 1, 2021

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513587851/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2021177

Pages:

41

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