A continuing commitment to leadership in mobile money

comviva-technology-officeAccording to Comviva, the total value of mobile money transfers in Africa is estimated to exceed US$200bn by 2015. (Image source: Comviva)Mayank Sharma, vice president - Africa region for Comviva, details the mobile solutions provider's dedication to the mobile financial ecosystem, to the provision of banking and payments solutions for the continent’s business and communities

Mobile money solutions, advanced support for financial transactions, resolved through telecommunications, enhance lives across Africa already, bearing significant impact on the banking industry throughout the continent. And crucially, in a continent with so many underserved individuals and enterprises, mobile banking complements traditional banking practices - serving communities and businesses where, for example, an ATM or bank branch are not within reach.

According to Comviva, which specialises in the provision of advanced, cost-effective solutions for mobile value added services (VAS), the total value of mobile money transfers in Africa is estimated to exceed US$200bn by 2015 representing almost eight per cent of Africa's nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Banks use mobile facilities to provide access to services without relying on the traditional brick-and-mortar approach. On the industry side, this two-pronged approach to customer service is addressing many financial pressures associated with costs and fees. With respect to customer, the move into mobile finance is changing consumer’s money management habits.

Moving closer into the industry ‘back-office’ - the machinations of the money brokers - one sees that investment houses can offer clients more choice, with mobile money on the table as a portfolio option.

The mobile telecommunications industry’s underpinning is reaching maturity, a level of development that is now serving in mobile finance and banking beyond emerging markets - where the impetus has been a poverty of banking infrastructure and service - into the established financial ecosystems of Europe, America and Asia. Africa's mobile money market has led the way.

Making momentum from mobile data to mobile money

Comviva is continuing to build on its formidable record in helping the continent’s operators to provide a faster, smoother, personalised and coherent mobile web experience to subscribers. Of particular note is the support provided for the data market in West Africa by Comviva, especially in countries such as Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

The company’s Mobile Data Platform, for example, as deployed in Congo Brazzaville, is changing the way mobile Internet services are being offered within the country - most significantly, on the operator side, in delivering dramatic improvements in per user revenue from data.

In interview with Communications Africa/Afrique, Mayank Sharma, vice-president - Africa region for Comviva, affirmed that the company is providing the same extensive levels of support to operators to engage with the continent’s growing financial ecosystem.

The opportunity is immense, as Mr Sharma acknowledges - with mobile money services representing an important socio-economic trend in Africa, with “mobile money reaching the unbanked, transforming the way people live, providing benefits for operators and also for people”.

A further example of Comviva’s commitment to comprehensive support for the continent’s growing payments ecosystem is its recent advance into electronic recharge services in North Africa. The company gains leverage from leadership in the market for electronic top-up operations in Egypt, where its PreTUPS electronic recharge solution is used by over 67mn subscribers out of the total 81.5mn prepaid subscribers in the country, PreTUPS is handles around one billion recharge transactions annually in Egypt.

Note, though, that what it does in North Africa, it does equally well across the continent and globally; across Africa, PreTUPS enables affordable recharge for more than 180mn mobile subscribers in 28 markets, on the back of deployment by each of the continent’s major operator groups; furthermore, the PreTUPS platform and suite of applications are deployed in over 56 operator sites across 39 countries around the world, serving over 647mn subscribers, handling more than 18bn recharge transactions annually.

Moving from North to East Africa, one finds that continued commitment to mobile financial services from Comviva, in the provision of its multi-award winning mobiquity mobile financial platform as a hosted model – representing a new approach to the achievement of reduced operational costs, faster time to market and a fully managed mobile financial platform for monetary institutions and network operators to leverage commercial relations with merchants and consumers.

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