NEW YORK, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Introduction
In recent years, making financial services more accessible has been a priority for Sub-Saharan African countries. Increasing financial inclusion has been an extremely important part of the socio-economic growth objectives adopted by most countries in this region. Yet, large sections of the region are still plagued by an under-developed financial sector, with a significant portion of the adult population considered to be unbanked or underbanked. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest growing telecom market in the world. In 2005, mobile penetration in the region was estimated to be around %. By 2015, this had risen to %. Similarly, while in 2005, less than % of the adult population held an account with a formal financial institution, by 2015, more than three-quarters of the population had access to mobile services.
Traditional banks have, however, struggled to expand their presence into the more rural and remote parts of Sub-Saharan Africa due to the high cost of establishing a brick-and-mortar presence in these areas. This has left many parts of the region underserved in terms of financial services, reducing the scope for formal economic activity. Mobile operators, on the other hand, have been able to reach parts of rural Sub-Saharan Africa that financial institutions have not been able to. Mobile money gives service providers the ability to leverage the existing mobile infrastructure to offer financial services more cost-effectively than traditional banks, using technology that is familiar to a growing portion of the population.
This market insight explores emerging developments in the mobile money market covering the best practices of some of the key providers and the key drivers of their success. Mobile money is also evolving from being simply a money transfer solution to one that enables monetary transactions and provides other financial services, and some of the impacts of these changes in both the medium and long terms will be addressed in this study.
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