African mobile banking industry 'set for growth'

Feb 02, 2011

The African mobile banking industry is expected to be worth $22 billion (€15.8 billion) by 2015 as consumers increasingly use their handsets to access financial services.

This is the verdict of a report on the market by consultancy firm Juniper Research, which believes growing demand for banking facilities and a surge in mobile phone ownership will drive usage.

Competition in the market may be fierce as mobile phone network providers seek to attract customers to their banking offerings and Chief Executive Officer of Developing Markets Associates Leon Isaacs warned expanding the industry "will be a painful process".

"Where we'll end up will ultimately be driven by a mixture of regulation and market forces," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The M-Pesa service run by Safaricom in Kenya has been popular and Business Daily recently reported customers on the network can now use a system known as PesaPal to pay school fees directly from their mobile phones.

However, some experts have warned M-Pesa may not be ideally suited to the rest of Africa, where a platform that works across all mobile networks could see more success.