Mobile Financial Services in Sub-Saharan Africa: Industry Report

Posted on September 01, 2015

The explosion of mobile devices and internet connectivity has disrupted numerous industries due to changing consumer behavior and supplier value chains. Like Netflix for video, Spotify for music, Uber for taxis and Airbnb for hotels, shifting technology and customer interfaces have revolutionised value chains, often leaving the incumbents in a weaker position. Financial services, which have already experienced some disruptions through Square, PayPal, Kickstarter and others, are set to experience a significant shift as mobile devices become the most commonly used banking device, especially in developing markets.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Mobile Financial Services have been growing rapidly to become one of the key investment opportunities within the financial services and ICT markets. In many countries, there are more mobile accounts than bank accounts. New players have sprung up in various market segments and there is growing international interest from various types of investors.
Africa is a huge and compelling market for potential investors, three times the size of China, home to six out of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies, and to over a billion people, more than half of who have a mobile phone and 40% of who are living in urban areas. A large part of its young population is incredibly adept at figuring out new technologies and eager to use it.
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