Sri Lanka mobile money use still low, survey finds

ECONOMYNEXT – Use of mobile phones to do financial transactions is still low in Sri Lanka, with the island among the lowest in Asia, according to a new survey of mobile phone owners aged 15-65 years.

Only five percent of Sri Lankans in that age group used mobile phones to send or receive money, according to the survey, ‘AfterAccess’.

It studied how individuals access and use information and communications technologies (ICTs) in 23 countries of what is called the Global South

“On a percentage basis, the use of mobile phones for financial transactions was very low in the Asian survey countries,” said the survey, presented by the LIRNEasia think-tank.

Bangladesh had the highest use of 30 percent among the Asian survey countries with the highest overall being in Kenya, at 86 percent, followed by Uganda at 80 percent. 

Sri Lanka has a mobile phone penetration rate – connections per 100 persons – of 150.1, with the first effective mobile money transfer system launched by a mobile phone operator in 2012 followed by other mobile operators and later banks.

The mobile phone penetration rate among the survey group – mobile phone owners aged 15-65 years – was 78 percent in Sri Lanka.

(COLOMBO 22 May 2019)

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