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Expert opinion

The African hot seat: making mobile wallets part of the international payment ecosystem

Monday 6 July 2015 | 08:01 AM CET

Jide Akindele, MMIT: Mobile wallets in Africa supersede cash, leapfrog card payments and aim to be part of an international ecosystem

The African consumer market is regarded as the next investment frontier with a population of over a billion and home to 7 out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world. With this growth come prosperity and rising incomes.

The perfect context for tapping into a growing market
The continent has also seen a steady annual growth in GDP at 4.5% over the last decade, much higher than the developed world during the same period. It is also estimated that close to 128 million households across the continent will have increased discretionary income and that consumer spending will increase to reach USD 2.2 trillion by 2030.

International brands should not miss out on the opportunities to extend their brands to the rising middle classes of Africa, where brand conscious and tech savvy consumers prevail. In Nigeria for instance, where 28% of the population is considered middle class, over USD 2 million worth of online transactions were recorded per week and close to USD 1.3 billion per month took place in 2014.

What makes Africa the fastest growing m-commerce market in the world is the fact that its m-commerce space is growing at a rate of 25.8%, while the rest of the world is growing at 16.8%.

Additionally, the African continent has already leapfrogged computers for mobiles technology and adopted mobile money over card payments. In 2014, for example, mobile money recorded USD 655.8 billion in revenues.

Mobile wallets: a game changer for African m-commerce and international trade
According to a GSMA report, there were 98 million registered mobile wallets in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, almost 50% of the worlds registered users during the same period! It was also recorded that there were more mobile money accounts than bank accounts in 9 developing countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. With more mobile wallets than bank accounts across Sub-Sahara Africa, the equation is clear. Mobile wallet payments + Utility – Cards = m-commerce growth.

Still, in spite of the momentum, one key issue that has slowed the growth of m-commerce in Africa in an even higher rate has been the lack of adoption of alternative payments (such as mobile wallet payments) by international merchants.

The solution is making mobile wallets part of the international payment ecosystem that allows international merchants tap into 1.1 billion population of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Considering that the mobile is already the device of choice throughout Africa, it makes sense that mobile wallet payments is set to become the game changer, superseding cash and leapfrogging card payments.

About Jide Akindele

Founder of MMIT, Jide Akindele is a visionary entrepreneur with a deep and wide knowledge of technologies in the mobile money and payment transaction space.

 

 

 About MMIT

MMIT, Mobile Media Info Tech, is a mobile money processing company with a mission to revolutionise the mobile payment space. MMIT provides a gateway for international merchants to reach Sub-Sahara Markets. Based in Nigeria, the company’s mobile technology platform offers a secure, fast, and easy payment solution. MMIT is dedicated to creating forward thinking payment solutions for each transactional demand, all through mobile phones.

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