Using Mobile Payments and Wallets in Africa by Richie Santosdiaz for The Fintech Times
Fintech Ecosystems Middle East & Africa

Using Mobile Payments and Wallets in Africa

Africa has some of the most practical innovations and solutions with respect to mobile payments and wallets. The following highlights that and uses Uganda as a backdrop.

How popular are mobile payments and wallets in Africa?

Mobile money in the continent is very popular. For instance, in sub-Saharan Africa, there are nearly 550 million registered and almost 160 million active accounts via 157 providers – according to the 2020 report by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). In comparison, via the same source, Europe, Central Asia and North Africa only had a combined seven million active mobile money accounts with a transaction of around $15billion. In comparison, Africans in 2020 exchanged almost $500billion via mobile money providers.

Uganda is an example. The following video shows how popular mobile payments and wallets are using the capital and largest city of Uganda – Kampala – as a backdrop:

 

 

By offering payment services via a mobile device, instead of traditional credit or debit cards, it brings financial inclusion to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. In the case of Africa, where in regions such as East Africa (which includes the likes of Kenya and Uganda) have some of the world’s highest mobile penetrations, mobile payments brings a digital transformation for what many might not consider to be digital friendly. After all, using USSD, many across Africa do not have the luxury to have smart phones and have to rely on basic mobile devices.

Therefore, the likes of M-Pesa, Airtel and MTN have made their names across much in the African continent. This is evident as per the example of Uganda.

It has been impressive to see mobile payments and wallets first-hand – in this case in Uganda – come to life. Fintech and wider innovative thinking has made its transformation across much of the African continent.

Authors

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