Saturday, July 28, 2007

Africa as a mobile banking benchmark

Africa probably boast the most advanced, oldest and most successful examples of mobile banking solutions on the planet today. It is not difficult to understand why, as this is also one of the fastest growing markets for mobile telephony in the world.
The Celpay deployment in Zambia was one of the first mobile payment solution deployed and is still operational today. This implementation currently manages about 2% of Zambia's GNP on mobile payments. I am not aware of any other mobile payment solution that can make the same claim. One of the other Celpay deployments (in the DRC - a country as large as most of Europe and with a population of more than 120 million people) runs roughly five million mobile payment transactions a month.
Other solutions (like the m-Pesa deployment) is often quoted by Vodafone as THE Vodafone mobile payment reference. This solution runs on the Vodafone network in Kenya (Safaricom) and boasts advanced cash management capabilities. Wizzit (an innovative mobile banking deployment for the under-banked) is often quoted as an example of empowerment of under-banked and the creation of jobs.
In a country like Nigeria (one of the most oil-rich countries in the world) one finds many advanced mobile banking and payment solutions - supported by advanced central bank regulations. Deployments like eTranzact, Flash-me-Cash and mobile banking provided by the central switch (Interswitch) must definitely be rated as some of the most advanced deployments in the world, with a large take-up and growing.
Every bank in South Africa have deployed advanced mobile banking and payment solutions. This market is currently growing at the rate of more than thirty-five thousand subscribers per month. The mobile banking market have grown to one million subscribers in just over two years. Few countries can claim this achievement. The MTN banking deployment in South Africa (an innovative product supported by MTN - the largest operator in Africa and Standard Bank - the largest bank in Africa) features advanced and unique characteristics (like a banking starter pack and "pay-as-you-go" banking to name a few).
It is no doubt that Africa is one of the leaders in mobile banking with advanced solutions and successful references.

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