Mobile money use on the rise in West Africa
Monday, May 19, 2014
Despite the slow take off of mobile money services in West Africa relative to other regions on the continent, operators in the area are beginning to report signs of success.
Last month, Orange confirmed the 10 millionth customer for its mobile money service, which started in 2008 and is now available in 13 countries, five of which are in West Africa. The announcement came barely a week after Airtel announced a cross-border remittance partnership with South Africa’s MTN to facilitate mobile money transfer between the two West African countries of Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
MTN says its mobile money services are growing rapidly, especially in West Africa.
“As of March 2014, MTN had over 16 million MTN Mobile Money customers. MTN Mobile Money is available in 15 countries, and remains the single largest deployment of the mobile money service by any mobile network operator on the African continent,” the group stated via email. “In West Africa, MTN Mobile Money is available in Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin and Cameroon.”
Orange noted that more than 2.2 billion euros in transactions were conducted through its mobile money service in 2013 and in some countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire, more than 40 percent of its customers have an Orange Money account.