Mobile money booms as siloed apps turn into mature payment platforms

Mobile money applications have opened up opportunities for businesses in Africa as they allow people who do not have traditional bank accounts to transact business. Now, these apps are starting to turn into full-fledged payment platforms.

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Use of mobile money systems is seeing tremendous growth, with industry insiders saying that the pandemic played a role in the increased use of mobile transaction apps around the world. The increase has been especially pronounced in some regions in Africa, and felt in areas such as banking and agriculture where it is opening up opportunities for businesses as well as their customers.

The increase in usage represents the next iteration of mobile money as telecom companies, which currently control mobile money products, look for new avenues to entrench mobile payments into the daily lives of their users. One way of doing this is to expand mobile money apps into more full-fledged transaction platforms that can integrate with a variety of systems, including applications and mobile products from various enterprises and rival telecom companies.

Mobile money aids financial inclusion

Mobile money apps have allowed people who traditionally have not been part of the financial ecosystem ­— and who may not even have basic bank accounts — to transact business. They have also streamlined interactions between businesses and their customers.

The State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021 by the industry association GSMA stated that the number of registered accounts grew by 12.7% globally to 1.21 billion accounts — double the forecasted growth rate.

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