A study from the GSM Association in June 2011 said 80 percent of global mobile payment, mobile financial transactions were made in East Africa. Mobile money, Mobile payment leader M-PESA is transacting over US $1 billion every month through its Safaricom Kenya service.
All the ingredients are in place: approaching 1 billion mobile subscribers, of which 90 percent are prepaid and 20% have bank accounts; high accessibility through the use of ubiquitous USSD and SMS; a consolidation of mobile money vendors; and at least one mobile money service already active in most countries.
Yet McKinsey reported in May that according to their accepted metrics, only a fraction of these deployments – 5-10 percent – has reached a sustainable scale. Even leaders such as M-PESA in Kenya, MTN Uganda, Vodacom Tanzania, and FNB in South Africa see most activity in simple person-to-person (P2P) transfers and to a lesser degree payments.
So the evidence suggests mobile payment systems have not yet hit the mainstream in MEA; but the reasons why – and the solutions – are becoming clear.
For more information about mobile payment, please download the report Mobile Payment Opportunity in the Midle East and Africa(MEA) Region.pdf