Mobile financial services: the mobile money landscape in Africa

Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO, MFS Africa

According to the 2018 edition of the GSMA’s annual Mobile Industry Impact Report, the global mobile industry is demonstrating significant and measurable impact in contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is strengthening its commitment to improving lives around the world. The study highlights key findings about mobile money, one of them being that more than 250 million people have started to use mobile money since 2015, bringing the total number of mobile money accounts to nearly 700 million at the end of 2017.

The arrival of mobile money in Africa has opened up the FinTech industry with new arrivals in the financial services space that are bringing in additional key verticals to customers – thus diversifying access to financial products, and deepening financial inclusion. However, with growing calls for regulation; the levelling of the digitization of financial services for all players; and cases around the globe where unregulated mobile and digital financial services have caused more harm than good, and exposed customers and industry to fraud and other illegal activities, we need to unpack the mobile and digital financial services world as it is today, and how we can continue to build it to meet the gaps we foresee for tomorrow. We also need to speak to impact that the mobile and digital financial services players are making on achieving financial inclusion and access for emerging markets and communities. This presentation will unpack and articulate the following points:

  • Mobile money – the past 10 years in review.
  • Where do we stand now – the market structure and players.
  • Looking ahead – the next 10 years.
  • What should we be excited about.
  • What should we be worried about.
  • What known unknown should we pay attention to.

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