WaridPesa bring mobile money to Uganda
Another new entrant into the highly competitive African mobile money market has arrived. WaridPesa will bring mobile banking to Uganda, and it’s making all the noises you would expect, with a promise to target the unbanked population who carry mobile devices, with a quick and easy sign-up (in this case a passport sized picture and a copy of their identity card) that will be active immediately.
As with other new entrants in Africa, WaridPesa allows cash to be transferred between users on different mobile networks – a vital part in taking a system out of a limited trail mode and into the real world. Money is loaded on to an account in a similar way to buying airtime, through national distribution points around Uganda, and can be sent on to existing users or others with mobile phones, who can then lodge the money in a WaridPesa account or withdraw it from the same chain of distributors.
It’s the same implementation we’ve seen time and time again here at Mobile Money Transactions, but that simplicity should never overlook the infrastructure required to launch a financial project on a national scale – and a project that needs to work pretty much all the time because when this is the only “bank account” that people have, it needs to stay accessible and easy to understand.
Partners need to be brought on board too – in the case of WariPesa this include Equity Bank, a financial institution with regional experience in money transfers.
As we start 2012, it is great to see another small step to bring mobile money to more people in the world, and from more companies to help rive the competitive nature of this business.