First decade celebrated by pioneering mobile financial service

African_woman_on_phone_CelpayCelpay has brought mobile financial services access to millions of Africans. (Image source: Celpay)The world’s first mobile financial service in a developing economy has celebrated its tenth anniversary having processed more than US$2 billion in mobile payments since its launch

Launched by Celpay in Zambia in 2002 and powered by Visa subsidiary Fundamo, the service opened up a new platform for financial services serving under-banked people in developing economies.

“The Zambian deployment was a runaway success and gave a glimpse of the potential mobile financial services had to offer,” said Celpay International chief executive Lazarus Muchenje.

“We are incredibly proud of how far we, and the industry as a whole, have come over the last decade.”

Celpay’s first deployment in Zambia was launched in partnership with six major banks, enabling instantaneous payments via mobile phones.

Between 2005 and 2010, Celpay Zambia processed funds equal to 10 per cent of the Zambian GDP.

Celpay Zambia has partnered up 15 banks since its launch and has expanded into the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

“The launch of the Celpay service 10 years ago was the beginning of a community that has had a profound social, economic and technological impact in Africa and beyond,” said Fundamo chief executive officer Hannes van Rensburg.

“Implementations such as the one we started in Zambia have ignited the imagination of our community and the wider world.

“As we look to the future, we are certain that mobile will continue to play a critical role as a driver of financial inclusion worldwide,” he concluded.

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