Mobile money transfers in Africa to exceed US$200 Billion

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The total value of mobile money transfers in Africa will exceed US$200 billion in 2015, almost 8 percent of Africa’s nominal GDP due to users’ growing trust in the system and a wider range of services, according to a new report from Pyramid Research. This is according to a report released today by Pyramid Research.

“In many developing regions, including Africa, the availability of formal financial services is limited to certain geographic and income ranges, often leaving the majority of the population to rely on unreliable and costly informal channels,” says Jan ten Sythoff, Analyst at large for Pyramid Research. “Key market players, banks and mobile operators in particular are keen to address this opportunity.”

“Operators, as shown in this report, can enjoy a number of different benefits, including a new revenue stream, customer retention and acquisition, and cost savings,” ten Sythoff explains. “Of the 65 live networks in the 14 countries analyzed in this report, Pyramid expects that 42 – almost two-thirds – will have launched a mobile money service by 2013. By 2015, Pyramid forecasts that more than 1 in 5 people in Africa will be registered to use mobile money services.”

The success of M-Pesa in Kenya has demonstrated that mobile financial services can benefit mobile operators and can provide benefits to the ecosystem, including banks, the distribution network, merchants, and companies. At the same time there are important issues and challenges that need to be addressed. “Regulations vary country by country and impact which services can be offered, by whom and in which way,” ten Sythoff says. “Low literacy rates, which can also be a determinant of text usage, can also impact adoption, and lastly, the existence of widespread and low-cost alternative money transfer services is also a factor.”


The full report is available here