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Mobile banking : increasing competition in Africa
On the African continent, with the growth in banking services on mobile phones (mobile banking), more and more telephones are acting as bank accounts for all those who don’t have access to banks. Used at first for money transfers between people, new services are now sprouting up more or less everywhere, at the initiative of telecoms operators, banks and specialist businesses. In Kenya, one of these emerging companies, Mobipay has just launched Agrilife for farmers. It is a package of banking services, including microcredit, insurance and savings, indicates Mobipay, which in this way is a competitor of M-PESA, the leading mobile banking service in Africa.
In Tanzania, a neighbour of Kenya, Zantel, a mobile telephone operator, is taking the initiative. While it was the first to launch a mobile banking service in the country, its Z-PESA service hadn’t succeeding in breaking into the market and putting pressure on its competitors Airtel and M-PESA, so Zantel decided to double its efforts. Having just changed its name to EZY PESA, the service is launching new features, like salary payments on mobile bank accounts. EZY also includes life micro-insurance: launched with the help of the main public Tanzanian insurer, the insurance costs only two euros a month (4,500 shillings).
Clearly, for telecoms operators in Africa, offering financial services is more and more an “obligation” if you want to keep ahead of the competition…