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Africa’s Mobile Money Revolution: Key Challenges and VeryPay’s Solution

By June 13, 2024June 18th, 2024No Comments

Imagine a world where every financial transaction, from buying lunch at school to paying for a bus ride, happens effortlessly with a simple tap from a mobile device, NFC card or bracelet.

This is becoming a reality in Africa, where mobile money is transforming lives and businesses. Despite the remarkable progress, there are still significant challenges to overcome. For mobile network operators (MNOs), understanding these hurdles and the solutions available is key to driving further growth and inclusion.

Read on to explore the current state of mobile money in Africa, the obstacles to its widespread adoption, and how VeryPay is on a mission to address and overcome these challenges.

Evolution of Mobile Money in Africa
From Inception to Innovation: The Journey of Mobile Money in Africa

Mobile money started as a simple solution to send money across distances without the need for a bank account. One of the earliest and most successful examples is M-Pesa, launched in Kenya in 2007 by Safaricom. It allowed users to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily using their mobile phones.

The concept of mobile money emerged as a solution to the lack of accessible banking infrastructure in many developing countries, particularly in Africa. Mobile money scaled financial inclusion by leveraging the widespread use of mobile phones, even in the most remote areas. The future of mobile money is poised to be transformative, with several key trends and developments expected to shape its trajectory.

The future will likely see greater interoperability between different mobile money platforms, enabling seamless transactions across different networks and countries. This will facilitate cross-border remittances and international trade, further driving economic growth. The growth of mobile money will be accompanied by an expansion of merchant networks accepting mobile payments. This will further drive the adoption of cashless transactions and support local economies.

The Pioneers Who Paved the Way 

Over the years, other major players have joined the market, including MTN Mobile Money, Orange Money, and Airtel Money. These companies have expanded their services beyond basic money transfers to include bill payments, savings, loans, and even insurance. Their contributions have been pivotal in increasing financial inclusion and economic growth.

What Africa’s most vulnerable populations need are innovative solutions tailored to rural and underserved areas. This is the driving force behind our mission at VeryPay; to bring a more inclusive future to African citizens and catalyse economic growth with technology that reaches last-mile users” says Seun Solanke, VeryPay CEO and former VP of Airtel Nigeria.

Numbers Don’t Lie: Growth Statistics and Adoption Rates 

The growth of mobile money in Africa has been remarkable. By 2023, there were over 400 million registered mobile money accounts across the continent. Countries like Kenya, Ghana, and Tanzania have some of the highest adoption rates, with mobile money transactions becoming an integral part of daily life. 


Key Challenges in Adoption and Usage of Mobile Money 

Can Mobile Money Overcome Connectivity Issues? 

While mobile money has grown rapidly, there are still technological hurdles to overcome. Many rural areas suffer from poor mobile network coverage, making it difficult for users to access mobile money services consistently. Additionally, security and fraud remain significant concerns. Users and service providers must continuously work to protect transactions from cyber threats. 

The Real Cost of Mobile Money: Scaling Affordability 

Affordability of mobile devices and services is another barrier. Many people in low-income areas find it challenging to afford smartphones or the data plans necessary to use mobile money services. Furthermore, financial literacy is a critical issue. Many potential users lack the knowledge to use these services effectively and safely, leading to mistrust and hesitancy in adopting mobile money. 

Interoperability Issues: Why Seamless Transactions Are Still a Dream 

One of the significant challenges is the lack of seamless transactions between different mobile money services. Users often find it difficult to transfer money between different mobile money providers. Additionally, integrating mobile money with traditional banking systems can be complex, limiting its utility, leading to cash dominance. 

How Can VeryPay Help? 

We are Entering a New Era of Payment Management 

VeryPay offers an innovative payment token management system designed to address these challenges. By partnering with mobile network operators, VeryPay provides a secure and efficient way to manage payments across various sectors such as agribusiness, transportation, education, retail and more. 

Imagine the daily commute or purchasing your weekly groceries with seamless tap-and-go payments, farmers gaining access to credit, supporting rural communities, maintaining safety efficiency in the school system all while stimulating economic growth for the continent. 

This is what’s possible with VeryPay.  

Why Choose VeryPay? 

  • The only wallet companion solution that makes a closed loop payment system and token management system available to any eWallet operator using simple, ready-made, brandable apps. 
  • VeryPay fosters financial inclusion and increases mobile money adoption by enabling secure and convenient tap-and-go payments for consumers and merchants who may lack access to traditional banking systems. 
  • Cost-Effective: The solution is quick to deploy and avoids the high costs associated with traditional payment methods. 
  • Reaching last-mile users: Extends the use of a mobile wallet with group-sharing functionality to capture populations without smartphones or access to mobile money, e.g. the young or elderly. 
  • An “all-in-one” sector-agnostic hybrid payment solution, allowing merchants to use a smartphone to conduct all transactions from the operator’s branded closed loop cards, as well as accept EMV payment cards.  
  • Creates digital financial records for merchants to increase credit access. 

Mobile money has made significant strides in Africa, but there are still hurdles to overcome. Innovative solutions like VeryPay can fill the gaps in the adoption and usage of mobile money while fostering financial inclusion. By addressing technological, economic, and interoperability challenges, VeryPay is helping to create a more inclusive and efficient financial system for all. 

VeryPay brings speed and convenience to mobile money payments and plays a major role in driving financial inclusion by creating digital financial records for everyone. 

We invite you to explore VeryPay’s solutions and see how they can benefit your organization. Book a call or contact us for more information and take the first step towards a financially inclusive future. 

Lindsey Tague

Author Lindsey Tague

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