Weekly Review February 12-18

Image Source: The East African

Mobile money’s increasing prevalence in Africa is spurring conversations, support for accompanying innovations, and larger efforts for financial inclusion.

Mobile money slowly turning East Africa into cashless society by Gaaki Kigambo on The East African  
Currently, mobile money is most commonly used to pay for utilities and other bills. Despite the excitement over M-PESA in Kenya, it is still difficult to conduct small transactions via mobile money at the point of sale. Kopo Kopo’s Ben Lyon weighs in on how to make mobile money ubiquitously accepted at the point of sale in the article. Notably, increased credibility, ease of use, and reliability of a mobile money platform will make paying for low-value items with mobile money more common.

Africa: Financial Exclusion – Nigeria Lags Behind Kenya, Botswana, South Africa” by Sunday Williams of Daily Trust published on Mobile Money Africa
According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), over 46% of the population is financially excluded. This is evidenced by the ratio of bank branches to people, 1 for every 24,224. This is why the CBN is pushing for the adoption of mobile money, starting with the capital city. The “Cashless Lagos” initiative, along with the distribution of many mobile money operator licenses, are efforts in place to work towards Nigeria’s goal of reducing financial exclusion to 20% by 2020.

Local innovation to be major focus of AIETC Banking & Mobile Money Conference” on ITWeb South Africa
The AITEC Banking and Mobile Money Conference is Africa’s largest event on banking. This year, the conference’s focus is on innovative technologies for mobile payments. Two special showcases, the Innovator Showcase and the Innovator Fast-Track Theatre, will allow entrepreneurs to highlight their innovations to potential customers, partners, and investors. Our own Sean Smith will be at the conference presenting “How to approach early stage investors and angels.” To learn more and register, visit www.aitecafrica.com.

Mobile technology: not easy, but why?” by Paul Leishman on GSMA Mobile Money for the Unbanked Blog
Leishman points out several key issues that make it difficult to make an infallible mobile technology. Mobile technology platforms must be able to handle high levels of throughout while remaining reliable. What other issues make it difficult to scale mobile technology? Check out the blog post for more.