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Mobile Money Transforms Africa: ZAAD in Somaliland

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A recent post in The Globe and Mail reported in on the progress mobile money is making in Africa, which is well worn territory on this blog, but I found the info on ZAAD interesting.

ZAAD is a mobile money service in Somaliland which is growing quickly. There’s 3.5 million people in the country and estimates peg that more than 250,000 users are already using ZAAD.

The article does a great job of outlining the drivers for growth of mobile money in this particular market including remittance from family working abroad and “lax” regulations.

And the success of the program was recently documented in the GSMA Study Innovative Inclusion. ZAAD’s approach has included salary payments and merchant payments, with positive results.

Of note about ZAAD, is the new model of mobile money where customers are encouraged to keep money in the system instead of cashing out. The GSMA report points out some very real challenges to the system, but they have a solid foundation for ongoing success in our opinion if they can continue to add new subscribers and continue to be innovative.

Good luck to ZAAD. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.