While Africa continues to be driven largely by cash transactions, it is a known fact that the mobile wallet segment is growing year on year within the region.
According to the financial inclusion survey by World Bank's Global Findex Database in 2017, 21% of adults in the region had a mobile money account, almost double than in 2014 and possibly the highest of any region in the world.
Mobile money paved way for financial inclusion in Africa, it plays a vital role in empowering people financially by providing them access to their money - a right that millions of people were deprived of in the region because of poor financial infrastructure.
The convenience and safety of the service has led to an increasing demand for mobile money services. Global Money transfer organization Xpress Money, part of the Finablr network of brands witnessed a record 37% growth in Mobile Wallet Credits to Africa last year and foresees a similar trend this year too.
Xpress Money cashed in on the fact that more than half of the world's mobile money services operate in Africa.
"While the journey of mobile money technology started with M-Pesa in East Africa, today West Africa and South Africa are strong bastions for mobile money services. Uganda, Burundi Tanzania, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are few of the other important mobile markets in Africa in addition to Kenya.Leveraging our reach in the continent, we have tied up with telecom service providers to expand our mobile wallet network in 2019. We are on the verge of launching a few more countries for mobile wallet services and by the first half of the year we are looking to double the number of countries for mobile wallets from our current base in the region," said Xpress Money COO, Sudhesh Giriyan.
The rise of mobile wallets is intrinsically linked to the increase of inexpensive mobile phones across the African continent. A gamut of financial services like payments, savings, loans etc. can be accessed through mobile phones.
McKinsey estimates that Africa has 100 million active Mobile Financial Services (MFS) customers accounting for transactions worth $2.1 billion. Africa is leading from the front in the mobile financial services space as the number of people joining the mobile money bandwagon is consistently on the rise.
The social and financial impact of mobile wallets has helped people channelize their savings better, endure financial setbacks and have access to structured financial services. Mobile wallet services have been a gateway towards financial inclusion across Africa.
Xpress Money, established in 1999, is one of the most dependable money transfers brand in the world with a global presence in more than 160 countries through partnerships that have a network of over 160,000 locations.
The brand is consistently raising the bar by accelerating its remittance footprint, foraying into new countries and collaborating with key telecom providers to access innovative service platforms across Africa.
The number of customers reaching out for mobile wallets far outnumbers those accessing other services. It may be safe to say that mobile wallets are gaining precedence among the African customer and Xpress Money is an integral part of the continent's dynamic mobile wallet landscape.