Sub-Saharan Africa countries have recorded the largest growth rate of mobile bank accounts being opened globally; this is according to Matt Robinson, Manager of the Africa Sovereign ratings team at Moody's.
Moody's says mobile phone technology is playing a pivotal role in expanding financial inclusion on the continent
“About 12 per cent of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa have mobile bank accounts, which compares to two per cent globally. Mobile banking has been part of the revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa space,” Robinson said.
Robinson also added that 13 countries with high use of mobile banking were in Sub-Saharan region which underscores the prevalence of this platform in Africa.
He added that part of the reason driving growth in the mobile banking space was the improving mobile bank technologies.
“There is a plethora of pre-requisite that makes mobile banking thrive,” he said.
“For mobile bank to thrive one needs regulation that does not stifle innovation, access to infrastructure, fair degree of mobile penetration and confidence in the system are some of the features necessary in promoting mobile banking,” added Robinson.
“We saw the success of MPESA in Kenya partly due to the availability of the features that promote this platform. We have also seen success seen in Kenya in other countries such as Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
Sub-Saharan Africa lags other regions as far as financial inclusion is concerned hence mobile banking is helping in bridging this gap.
“Increasing financial inclusion is good for the economy as this technology increases the amount of productivity in the economy,” he said.