Of the 690 million registered mobile-money accounts worldwide, 50% are in Africa. In Zimbabwe and Somalia, for example, both countries that have experienced decades of economic isolation and political unrest, mobile money is ubiquitous and central to economic activity. Writes Aubrey Hruby The big picture: While Apple Pay and other mobile-money platforms have been slow to grow in the U.S., with only 20%–30% of iPhone users enabling Apple Pay, a cashless economy has taken hold in unexpected places. In Africa, a continent all too often mislabeled as relatively undeveloped, major innovations are taking root and scaling quickly. The numbers: McKinsey estimates that 1 in 10 African adults actively use mobile money, compared to roughly 1 in 40 South Asians. Although Kenya paved the way
A United Nations agency and the African Union (AU) are pushing for cross-border mobile money payments to boost electronic trade on the continent. The AU has been piloting the use of a common payment system in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and is scheduled to roll out the same across Africa by the end of this year. The move is intended to facilitate interconnectivity between registered mobile money account owners within Kenya and across the continent, totaling 277 million according to a 2017 report. These represent 140 mobile money schemes across 39 countries. The roll-out of the common payment system will coincide with the commencement of trade under the Continental Free Trade Area expected later this year. The agreement aims to create a single cont...
Myriad Connect has concluded recent research that found that over 70% of Kenyans have been the victims of digital financial transaction fraud, or know someone who has. Other figures indicate 57% sms, 73% phone calls, 17% social media and 19% email were the channels through which Kenyan consumers were targeted to become victims of financial service transaction fraud. “Financial service transaction fraud in Kenya is costing banks billions and customers their life savings,” says Fabien Delanaud, GM of Myriad Connect. “While financial service transaction fraud is a global issue; Kenya has been a leader in the adoption of mobile and digital payments, which unfortunately brings with it a growing risk of fraud.” One of the most prolific forms of financial service fraud is SIM swap fraud, wh
A proposed tax increase on mobile money transfers in Kenya is drawing protests from several services, including M-Pesa. As part of a new tax proposal to raise government revenues, Kenya’s government is pushing to raise duties on mobile cash transfers by 2%. The government expects to net around $270 million in additional revenues and claims the extra income will fund a universal health care program to cover all households by 2022. But Safaricom-owned M-Pesa says the move could take a big toll, as it will “negatively impact mobile-led transfer services and payments” and reverse the gains of financial inclusion by making it more expensive to conduct business transactions and make payments using mobile money services. Since it was launched in 2007, M-Pesa, the largest mobile money
The Shoprite Group has announced ‘Shoprite Money’ – a new mobile transactional banking service which is available to everyone, even those without existing bank accounts the retailer said in a statement on Wednesday. The service has been launched in partnership with global fintech company Celbux, Google and Standard Bank. “Using their Shoprite Money mobile wallet, this new service will allow customers to deposit, withdraw or send money as well as buy groceries at any of the till points in all Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or Usave stores,” it said. Customers can also send money and buy electricity or airtime using their mobile phones, provided they have funds in their Shoprite Money account. “Basic transactional banking services in South Africa are expensive and in many cases