SA mobile money flop prompts new models

A money transfer revolution is happening in Africa, but SA is being left behind.Local industry players are looking to other models for mobile money transfer solutions, amid the failure of these to take off in SA – in stark contrast to other African countries where the same services have thrived.

Most notably, M-Pesa – launched as a partnership between SA’s first mobile operator Vodacom and then big four bank Nedbank, in August 2010, has struggled to gain traction and currently has only a few hundred-thousand users in SA. The service has been held back by legislation and the integration needed to move money from a bank account to an electronic wallet.

On the contrary, Tanzania and Kenya – as well as the Middle East’s Afghanistan – have seen massive uptake of the same service, gaining more than 10 million customers, while SA is still sitting on a few hundred-thousand, three years down the line. more

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