For many in the developed world, a bank account is a birthright and seems like a common link the global population would have, when in reality this is not the case. The most recent World Bank Report shows that approximately two billion people are globally “unbanked”, with the majority of this number being located in developing countries and emerging markets. Two billion people lacking formal financial services provides the mobile money industry opportunity to take advantage of this and provide these individuals with these services, along with converting this informal economy into a formal contributor of GDP in numerous countries.
Telepin was pleased to be a Gold sponsor Mobile Money Africa for fifth year running, where companies, social enterprises, and entrepreneurs from across Africa’s payments industry have the opportunity to interact and challenge with one another by posing questions and sharing perspectives on the State of the mobile payment industry in Africa.
Throughout the years I have witnessed major transformation in the mobile money market; through further education and exposure of the purpose this technology serves. Mobile money is no longer seen as merely a fad, but as a more permanent option of payment method. Event attendees were posing more educated questions and creating intelligent discussions through real world experiences. There were many more real collaborative and watering-hole discussions than ever before.
I was expecting to hear more success stories, along with a threat of an over the top service offering. I also had the expectation that Visa or Mastercard would make their presence felt, however was absent. What did surpass my expectations however was the abundance of opportunities I witnessed at Mobile Money Africa.
I do believe that the industry is still on a rapid growth trajectory and that there are plenty of growth opportunities and success stories in the making. I believe that we will begin to see domestic money platforms within the industry begin to connect domestically and build up to connect internationally. We will start to see a lot of mobile money players that built bespoke platforms focus on industrial grade off the shelf solutions as well as the real usage of alternative money transfer systems other than the traditional players. We are seeing numerous operators taking this industry seriously and identifying current investments as core infrastructure will in fact not scale in the future. Africa will leapfrog over North American in digital currency, mobile commerce and mobile payments with the innovations that are happening today.
I am honoured to have sponsored this event for five years running and very much enjoyed the conversations and networking I shared with others at this event. I look forward to meeting everyone at Mobile Money Global in Istanbul in December to reconnect with the Industry on a larger scale.