How Mobile Money Continues To Boom In Africa

Submitted by rruggia on

The tie-up of Kenya's mobile sensation M-Pesa with PayPal and Western Union, coupled with the joint venture between two of the largest cellular operators – MTN and Orange – for a mobile wallet that operates across networks have capped a year that has seen significant developments in Africa's already blooming mobile payments market.

M-Pesa has 28.5-million users in East Africa who will now be able to transact with remittance giant Western Union's 500,000 global agents in over 200 countries. M-Pesa has revolutionised mobile transacting, first in Kenya where it was launched by Safaricom in 2007, then into the rest of East Africa and now into West Africa.

For the three months to June 2018, M-Pesa processed 581-million transactions for its 23-million Kenyan subscribers, worth $14,6-billion or $162-million a day, according to the Communications Authority of Kenya. "The power of financial technology to expand access to and use of accounts is demonstrated most persuasively in Sub-Saharan Africa," the World Bank’s Global Findex Database wrote in its financial inclusion survey which found 21% of adults in the region now have a mobile money account. This is "nearly twice the share in 2014 and easily the highest of any region in the world".

Last year the GSM Association said over half of all mobile money services in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa, which remains the fastest-growing mobile market in the world. The region is expected to have 500-million cellphone subscribers by 2020.

Regions / Country
Document Type