Mobile money services are in the country and the numbers of people using them are increasing by the day. MTN Mobile money has registered over 800,000 users in its first year and they project the numbers at over 3m by 2012.
The population of those with bank accounts is just half of those with mobile phones and this is the very reason banks have to seriously look into this aspect. It has already happened in Kenya where M-Pesa and Equity bank have partnered.
Those on M-Pesa can use Equity bank ATM cards and they have even upgraded to converting their M-Pesa accounts to savings account which can earn interest and access insurance services.
One of the reasons Mobile Money is picking up very fast is the issue of airtime. Shop attendants in the rural areas are the Mobile Money agents and these are the places these people are used to going to when buying airtime something they have been doing for years.
They are comfortable dealing with these shop attendants compared to banks with revolving doors and armed guards which they think is meant for the rich.
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