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All posts tagged "mobile money"

  • Don’t burn your wallet: why SA hasn’t reached its mobile, cashless future (yet)

    When it comes to technologies that have failed to deliver on the hype that preceded them, it's pretty difficult to beat mobile money in South Africa. Following the rise of MPesa in Kenya, everyone thought South Africa, with its massive mobile population, would follow suit. While few would have dared to say it at the time, there was a sense of expectation that, within a few years, everyone would have abandoned cash and would be paying for things on their phones. Boy was that wrong. A number of factors hindered the growth of mobile money in the country, including restrictive...

  • Africa to fall from top spot as global mobile payments pass $235bn

    Africa has led the world in mobile payments from the very start. A lack of wired infrastructure and large numbers of unbanked people with access to mobile phones meant that it was a natural fit. The likes of M-Pesa and Fundamo became household names, processing billions of dollars in transactions every year. But all that is about to change. Africa is losing its edge in the mobile money game, with the Asia/Pacific region set to steal top spot from it by 2016. According to tech research company Gartner, it will be the largest contributor to the US$235.4-billion in mobile...

  • How M-Pesa disrupts entire economies

    Back in 2011, I was asked to give my thoughts on what I thought would trend in mobile within between then and 2020. One of my predictions was that: “Mobile money will shift economies on a large-scale and across borders.” It came as an interesting discovery to learn therefore that according to recent Africa Development Bank (AfDB) research, increased uptake of M-Pesa, which is the literal mother of mobile money, is said to be contributing to inflation in Kenya. Inflation was a major problem in the Kenyan economy in 2011, having hit a high of 19.7% towards the end of...

  • NFC is the future of African mobile money

    Mobile money has made more of an impact in Africa than a number of other emerging market regions. In fact, through services like Safricom’s M-Pesa, people on the continent have been using their mobile phones for financial transactions since long before Google brought out its wallet. But can emerging markets on the continent, and elsewhere, take mobile money beyond money transfers? This is, after all, how the whole mobile money market emerged with M-Pesa: People buying airtime from agents and using the airtime to pay for bills or send money other people across the country. A number of...

  • How over-regulation has stifled the pace of mobile money adoption in Africa

    In a continent where less than 20 percent of Africa's population has a bank account and where latent demand for money services is so high, why are there no other success stories on the scale of Safaricom’s MPESA service, in Kenya? Diverse factors such as distribution networks or Kenya's unique social structure have often been cited as the reasons why MPESA has only worked in Kenya and not elsewhere, the answer lies in the requirement for compliance and regulation obeisance has cemented the role of banks at the core of the mobile money universe. This factor has undoubtedly played a...

  • India’s mobile money revolution

    India's hunger for new technology is as sharp in its countless small villages as in its shiny office towers or shopping malls -- and businesses are waking up to an area of massive potential growth. Specific designs being aimed at Indian villagers include a mobile phone cash-transfer system, similar to that of the lauded M-Pesa mobile currency in Kenya. Other innovations targeted at India's rural communities include robust low-energy refrigerators and a clever twist on the humble kitchen stove. Household cook Shivnath Yadav, 35, says he regularly sends funds via his mobile phone to his mother in the tiny village of...

  • Kenya’s mobile money innovation boom

    Kenya is quickly gaining a competitive advantage in the mobile payments space. Led by mobile operator giant Safaricom with their Mpesa product, the market locally sees huge value in mobile money transactions. Add to that a regulatory system that is relaxed enough for innovation to be encouraged, and you have a great space for interesting things to happen. Pay.Zunguka The team at Symbiotic always have more than one iron in the fire. I was...

  • Mocality aims to be ‘largest’ mobile business directory in Africa

    If you’re in downtown Nairobi before the 4th of August, be sure to pop in to the Barber Q Hair Studio and get yourself a free head massage. The studio is on the 2nd Floor of El-Roi Plaza, close to the Odeon Cinema. This is just one example of the thousands of snippets of information that are at the heart of Mocality, a free-to-list, hyper-local mobile business directory in Nairobi, Kenya. Mocality offers a free business suite of tools to all listed businesses, such as the ability to upload customer mobile numbers into the Mocality platform, a free mobile website...