VENTURES AFRICA – Following an accelerated growth in mobile financial services in Africa in 2012, Fundamo, a subsidiary of Visa, and the world’s largest specialist mobile financial service provider, has reported that the continent leads the world in mobile financial service, tipping the Nigerian mobile financial service market for phenomenal growth.
In a BusinessDay report, CEO of Fundamo, Hannes van Rensburg, was quoted saying: “One thing hasn’t changed – Africa, the cradle of mobile financial services, continues to lead the world with a swath of new deployments in 2012.” He furthered: “Mobile money providers are rapidly diversifying and consumers are demanding access to more sophisticated services.”
A recent survey by Fundamo and its parent company Visa, shows that consumers in the African market have peculiar financial service needs that are not met by the established transaction set offered by mobile money services today.
The report reveals that 59 percent of consumers in Nigeria surveyed, intend to use mobile money to save money for their family and 58 percent want to use it to pay utility bills. To meet the demand, FirstMonie offers consumers a host of advanced services including utility payments (airline tickets, electric, insurance), cash withdrawal from an ATM without a bank card, and payment for goods at merchant locations.
The report furthered, stating that the Nigerian mobile financial services market is set for phenomenal growth. According to a 2010 Gallup and NOI-Polls, only 38 percent have access to formal financial services, of Nigeria’s 160 million populace, where there are more also than 93 million mobile phone subscriptions – the largest in Africa.
In September 2012, First Bank Nigeria (FBN) in partnership with Fundamo launched FirstMonie – a mobile financial service available to all mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria, regardless of the mobile network.
Earlier this year, Celpay International, a specialized mobile financial service provider, launched services in Uganda and Zimbabwe, powered by Fundamo. Celpay International provides mobile financial services to consumers and corporate customers. In Uganda, Celpay has partnered with mobile network operator Uganda Telecom, and in Zimbabwe it is working in partnership with several banks.