Africa a ‘world leader’ in mobile banking

Africa a world leader in mobile banking Mobile phone subscriptions reached 635mn in 2014, according to a report by Ericsson. (Image source: Erik (HASH) Hersman/Flickr)Banking and e-payment services using mobile phones have witnessed a surge in Africa in recent years

A recent survey by the World Bank and Gallup revealed that this growth in popularity has been unsurpassed in the rest of the world, with sub-Saharan Africa the only global region where more than 10 per cent of adults reported having a mobile account.

Twelve per cent of adults in the region – 64mn people – have a mobile account, compared to the global average of just two per cent, and the popularity of such services is only set to grow more due to the continent’s uniquely favourable conditions.

While less than 29 per cent of adults owned a traditional bank account in 2014, mobile subscriptions surpassed 635mn in the same year, according to a report by Ericsson, with that figure expected to rise to 930mn in around four years.

Coupled with the fact that mobile banking fees are substantially lower than charges levied by traditional money transfer companies such as Western Union, the consensus is that the potential of financial phone applications in Africa is limitless.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimates that further development of such mobile payment applications could generate up to US$1.5bn by late 2019, when it claims that African mobile phone usage will have risen by a further 25 per cent.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?