Mobile Money: The Battle for Africa
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
As enthusiasm for mobile-phone-based payments grows in Africa, operators are rushing to get a piece of potentially lucrative and ever-expanding markets and to challenge more popular and established mobile-payment services, such as Kenya’s M-Pesa.
Last month Western Union WU +0.23% announced an expanded collaboration with MTN, a mobile phone service provider focused on Africa, the Middle East and West Asia, to offer a new mobile money transfer service in the Ivory Coast. This new service will let people using MTN’s Mobile Money service receive a money transfer transaction via Western Union directly on their mobile phones, the firms said in a joint press release. The companies have a similar collaboration that is already operating in Uganda.
The announcement, industry experts say, is an example of a growing number of partnerships between operators already cashing in on the market and banks and new players trying to get in on the action.