Africa: on the way to mobile money remittances
Mobile money is transforming livesMobile money is transforming lives. Worldwide, over 400 million accounts are registered. On the continent, it allows people to access financial services for the first time and facilitates remittances from diaspora, which play an incredibly important role in many African economies.
Indeed, mobile money provides an instant, convenient and totally secure way to receive vital remittances on your phone: no more taking the bus to visit the Forex bureau, no more waiting lines, no more worrying about safety when carrying large amount of cash.
WorldRemit and leading telecoms operator MTN launched instant overseas money transfers direct to MTN mobile money accounts in January 2016 and these have encountered a tremendous success, as other mobile banking financial services in recent years.
Uganda, already renowned for being one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world, is at the forefront of mobile money remittances. According to World Bank estimates, $1.099billion remittances have been sent home by Ugandans abroad in 2016, contributing to 4 per cent of GDP.
Statistics of Bank of Uganda show that about 6 million Ugandan adults have an account at a formal financial institution (0,16 per cent of population), a figure that hasn’t changed much over the years. Mobile money on the other hand has seen a dramatic growth: 21 million mobile money accounts are now held by a majority of Ugandan adults.
In the space of a year, WorldRemit customers in Uganda now send 20,000 transfers to the MTN mobile money accounts, with over 100 new customers signing up every month. In fact, 77 per cent of all WorldRemit transfers to Uganda now go to mobile money accounts.