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Analysis of the Mobile Money Market in Sub-Saharan Africa—Selected Countries : Mobile Money Innovations Drive Africa’s Financial Inclusion

  • December 2014
  • 153 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2604040


Table of Contents

Key Findings

•Mobile money is expected to transform the financial services landscape. Mobile network operators (MNOs) are taking advantage of the growing popularity of mobile money to boost their average revenue per user (ARPU) in a bid to counter the increasing pressure on voice revenues.
•Moreover, mobile money services have also become central to MNOs’ service offerings as part of their strategy to increase the mobile subscriber base. At least x % of the MNOs in the countries analysed were found to either be offering or planning to offer mobile money services.
•These services have come to make a growing contribution to MNOs’ service revenues; M-Pesa contributes over x % to the service revenues of Safaricom and Vodacom Tanzania.
•Having a robust network of agents is critical to driving the number of new mobile money connections because it helps create awareness and trust in the brand, as seen by the success of Safaricom Kenya, Vodacom Tanzania, and Econet Zimbabwe.
•Just as important is the creation of partnerships with financial institutions, such as retail banks, in order to boost the agent footprint. A number of MNOs, including MTN, have adopted this strategy, particularly to enable cash-out transactions at bank ATMs and through Western Union agents.
•In addition, strategic partnerships between the operators themselves, in-country and across borders, are growing in number.
•Tanzania has seen the continent’s first interoperability agreement: three of its mobile operators allow subscribers to seamlessly send money between their respective networks. This model will set a precedent for such agreements in other countries.
•Financial institutions are building strategies around the provision of mobile money by taking advantage of the mobile network. Ecobank and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) are taking the lead in developing a mobile money offering across the markets they cover in Africa.
•In 2014, Equity Bank was given a license to operate as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Kenya. The bank uses thin-SIM technology that allows customers access to the Equitel mobile money platform on their existing handsets.
•Government efforts have also been crucial in enabling the growth of mobile money by actively looking to increase financial inclusion through mobile money, a more affordable alternative to giving unbanked customers banking services access.
•In Ghana, operators are not licensed to offer mobile money services while in Kenya, the regulator has given operators a fair amount of latitude to drive the market. As a result, Kenyan operators have an incentive to boost service penetration and increase agent networks, an incentive that their counterparts in Ghana do not have.

CEO’s Perspective

Mobile money is becoming an important part of operators’ service offering, which MNOs can use to boost their ARPUs.
Building an extensive and reliable network of agents who are knowledgeable about the service is critical to driving service uptake.
Partnering with financial institutions, retailers, and utilities can help widen the application of mobile money.
MNOs can target the banked population by opening their application programmable interfaces (APIs) to developers for enabling mobile eCommerce.
Banks can take advantage of infrastructure development to establish MVNOs and then participate in the mobile money market.

Key Questions this Study will Answer

What is the current state of mobile money in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe?
How is the market expected to evolve over the next 5 years?
What are the main factors affecting the development of the market?
How will this market influence the provision of financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa?
Who are the key providers in the market and what are their market shares?
What are the critical success factors in the market?

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