53% of mobile users in India, Kenya, Indonesia, Ghana and Nigeria have used m-banking and payments. It’s clear that limited access to formal banks in these growth and emerging markets, along with a high penetration of mobile devices, encourages mobile finance activities.
Mobiles ensure the safety and security of money, make payments more convenient and promote m-commerce opportunities for local entrepreneurs and western companies looking to move into these markets. It also provides great learning for those wanting to implement similar mobile finance models in more developed markets.
To better understand these trends, we conducted research to better understand the behaviour of people doing m-banking and m-payments in the markets mentioned above. We spoke to roughly 6000 mobile internet users - 63% of them live in the city, 92% use a feature phone and 88% were male.
Why is Kenya leading the pack in terms of mobile payment uptake? They’ve had M-Pesa, the mobile based money transfer service, launched back in 2007, with over 17 million accounts today. Users can use their phone to pay for cab rides and electricity, to get money out of ATMs without owning an ATM card or even having a traditional bank account.
There’s a great arcticle about Keynyan and African mobile banking over at the National Geographic site: The Invisible Bank: How Kenya Has Beaten the World in Mobile Money
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Photo: Emil Sjöblom