Tag Archive for: Mobile Payment Technology

Mobile money services on the African continent have not only been a great business success story but also a significant social success, as mobile money offers an opportunity to promote greater financial inclusion and stimulate economic growth.

Customers in the Vodacom International markets, including Safaricom, now process more than US$14.7 billion in monthly transactions through the M-Pesa platform. 40 million customers transact through M-Pesa across all Vodacom’s operations, growing at 22% per annum.

Although M-Pesa activity in the short term in some of our markets has been impacted by extended lockdown periods, Vodacom believes that in the longer term, the Coronavirus pandemic could prove to be a catalyst for the increased uptake of mobile money services. The World Health Organisation recently cautioned that cash could contribute towards the transmission of the virus. With ongoing uncertainty around how long it will take to find a vaccine, cashless and contactless mobile money services offer a safer way to conduct business transactions, protecting consumers and merchants alike.

Some countries are actively promoting the use of mobile money services over cash, such as in Vodacom International Business markets Mozambique, the DRC, Lesotho and Ghana, where certain tariff reductions on M-Pesa transactions have been implemented. Together with the Kenyan Central Bank, Safaricom has also implemented a fee-waiver incentive on M-Pesa transactions to encourage consumers to move away from the physical exchange of currency.

Almost all industries have been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Varying levels of lockdowns implemented and regulations set by governments have restricted the movement of people, reduced trade or temporarily stopped business completely. Cash transactions have reduced in volume, and mobile money transactions are no different. There is however still an inflow and outflow of cash when users make a deposit or withdrawal, which requires frontline M-Pesa agents to complete each transaction.

Depending on each market and the types of lockdown restrictions that are in place, a number of measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of all M-Pesa agents. In Mozambique, Vodacom is assisting 30,000 frontline agents with 25 litre water tanks to ensure that cleanly and hygienic cash transactions are maintained. In Lesotho and Kenya, Vodacom has also contributed funds for agents to acquire cleaning products such as hand sanitizer, soap and other protective equipment. Educational content has been provided on how to ensure a safe and hygienic work environment.

As the pandemic continues, mobile money services are likely to have an even bigger role to play across the continent. Post lockdown there will be a ‘new normal’ way of life. The benefits of mobile financial services will become increasingly clearer, as people and businesses adapt to a brave new world.

By Diego Gutierrez, Vodacom International Business Chief Officer.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Mobile payments represented more than 30 percent of the total social media conversation around payments in the Middle East and Africa, with total mentions doubling over the prior year.

Now in its sixth year, the study, developed in partnership with PRIME Research, analyzed more than 3.3 million conversations globally and 90,000 conversations in the Middle East and Africa from the past year across social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo.

Interest in new technologies

People are looking to newer technologies to have an impact on their lives. In the past year alone, such mentions on social media increased 30 percent globally since the last study.

Today, nearly 20 percent of all mobile commerce payments are focused on contactless payments and mobile wallets. Beyond these primary focus areas, consumers are interested in how artificial intelligence, QR payments and wearable payments will impact their lives.

Overall, people are increasingly positive toward these newer technologies. In the Middle East and Africa, virtually all (95 percent) mobile wallet conversations were favorable, with 22 percent of posts praising the speed, efficiency and simplicity of these products.

“In the fast-evolving world of digital payments, it is crucial that we listen and understand the views of the people who ultimately use our solutions. The Mastercard Digital Payments Study highlights a willingness to adopt the latest payment technology solutions from users across the Middle East and Africa, and reinforces the increasingly important role that mobile payments play in everyday life,” said Gaurang Shah, senior vice president of Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs for the Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.

Primed for action with peace of mind

Among the conversations analyzed, consumers clearly continued to be focused on the security of their money and their data as a foundational requirement. In their posts, people recognize the value of new technologies on delivering this peace of mind across mobile payments.

Looking at the newer technologies:

  • Biometrics reached a potential 111 million, driven primarily by an interest in voice payments and fingerprint scanners
  • Tokenization – and its critical role in supporting and protecting payments of all type – was featured in conversations reaching a potential audience of 11 million viewers

While breaking news around data breaches drove one-fifth of data-related conversations, another 13 percent of these conversations noted the potential of digital security technologies, including blockchain, tokenization and biometrics.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Jonas Leupe [1], [2].