The battle between Africa’s mobile phone companies and banks is a boon for financial inclusion
Monday, July 27, 2015
Another week and another bank in Africa is entering the mobile money space.
Pan-African Ecobank is partnering with Orange Cameroon to allow the telco’s customers with accounts at the bank to transfer cash between the two services. The two firms are already working together in Mali and plan to introduce the service in four other African countries.
Banks partnering with mobile companies is the latest attempt by financial firms to tap into the continent’s large populace of the “unbanked.”
In sub-Saharan Africa, only a third of adults have access to bank accounts. Compare this to Latin America, another emerging market, the figure stands at 51%, according to the World Bank. There are a lot of people whose money simply never touches the region’s financial systems.
The mobile phone revolution and the rise of mobile money, especially in east Africa with platforms such as M-Pesa, has changed this.