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Mobile Money Services In West Africa

In most sub-Saharan African nations, mobile money has been adopted by individuals as their go-to financial avenue. Mobile money is mainly used by individuals, but increasingly by businesses as well, as a deposit holder for transactional purposes. In this blog, we’ll present the evolving landscape of mobile money services in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), key ways mobile money providers are delivering innovative and user-friendly services, and how mobile wallet operators have overtaken banks in the retail banking business. The WAEMU is made up of eight countries (Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Togo, and Guinea-Bissau) with a common currency, the Franc CFA (XOF).

Mobile Money Landscape

Mobile money services have been one of the fastest if not the fastest growing industry in the last decade in the WAEMU. With over 42 approved mobile money initiatives by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), this has been the main source of financial inclusion growth in the Union with 56.2% of adults in the WAEMU having accounts with a regulated institution. Of the over 132.02 million mobile money accounts opened in the Union, 49.11% are active (64.83 million active accounts) for a population of 123.6 million. This is unprecedented growth in the development and adoption of financial services for the banked and unbanked population. By the end of 2021, mobile money operators counted over 0.902 million active points of service in the Union. There are 141 mobile money points of service for every 10.000 (with the density varying across cities and rural areas).

Mobile_Money_Subscription_Growth

How Mobile Money Operators are overtaking banks in retail banking services

With over 5.14 billion transactions processed in 2021 for a total value of 63.89 trillion FCFA, mobile money has overtaken bank accounts in terms of the number of transactions processed. Accounting for 14.8 million transactions daily with an average value of 11 338 FCFA, mobile money is used for nearly all types of payments and is positioning itself as the retail engine of today’s economy with the ambition of overtaking cash transactions in the Union. It is a timely solution to the daily challenges faced by individuals and retail businesses in making payments.

Mobile_Money_Transaction_Volume_in _Billion_CFA

2021 Data

How Mobile Money Providers are Providing Innovative Services

Here are key ways that mobile money providers are delivering innovative and user-friendly services:

Friendly UX/UI

Mobile wallet operators are increasingly improving their digital services with user-friendly apps enabling seamless transactions. Further, mobile wallet operators have opened their infrastructure for fintech companies to build value-added services, which has led to the development of a digital ecosystem fostering the adoption and usage of wallets.

Wide Coverage

Mobile money operators have gone a long way in building accessibility to their services. Today you can access most mobile money services from a USSD, mobile apps, and agent networks. Also, recent developments have brought mobile money services to ATMs, enabling users to generate a code and pick up cash at a bank partner ATM.

Services on the App: Remote account opening, digital KYC, and self-registration 

With a few clicks, from the comfort of your home, you can open a mobile money account and start transacting, with more steps to an agent with your ID, you can complete your identification and raise your transaction limit. Whereas in the Union, it takes an average of two weeks, physical presence at a bank branch with the required documents to open an account. Once opened, you still have to wait for another two weeks for a debit card and go to the bank to register for their mobile banking service. 

Simple Fee Structure

We’ve seen how aggressive mobile money operators can be on pricing, offering a simple fee structure for outstanding services to clients. Operators have gone the extra mile to reward users for making payments on their platform by raising awareness, and offering cash-backs and gifts,  thereby proliferating the adoption and usage of mobile financial services. 

Mobile money is one of AZA Finance’s multiple payout options. Collaborating with mobile money operators like Orange, MTN, Airtel, and payment service providers, AZA Finance makes last-mile mobile payouts to beneficiaries in several African countries in multiple currencies.

If you want to find out more about how AZA Finance makes last-mile mobile payouts, please complete the form, and a payment expert will reach out.
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