Cash Still Trumps Mobile Payments and Bitcoin in Africa
Friday, December 9, 2016
According to the World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion Index, Africa has the highest mobile money adoption rate in the world. Worldwide, only 2 percent of the population possesses a mobile money account; in Africa, 12 percent of the population uses mobile money.
Africa’s affinity for mobile money is one of the main reasons why many members of the Bitcoin community believe that the region is fertile ground for bitcoin adoption, especially to meet the needs of the large underbanked population that often relies on mobile money to send and receive payments.
However, the reality is that African mobile money and e-payments adoption is heavily clustered towards specific countries and is not a continent-wide phenomenon. The vast majority of Africans still rely on cash to conduct their daily financial transactions.
According to KPMG’s Payment Developments in Africa 2015 report, 94 percent of retail transactions in both urban and rural Africa are conducted in cash, which means that only 6 percent of transactions are made with bank cards or e-payment systems.