Last week Musoni was privileged to speak at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, looking in particular in the different ways in which mobile money is used in development. During the event, GSMA released their annual State of the Industry report, and we wanted to pull out some of their key findings that will be relevant to microfinance. Unsurprisingly, mobile penetration and mobile money have continued to grow across the world, in particular in Africa. Alongside this, as you can see from the graphic below, more people now have access to mobile data, millions more unbanked receive loans and savings through their phones, and more and more businesses are springing up alongside mobile money delivering innovative new services. In short, mobile access is the a key step towards economic and social development. [image_with_animation animation=”Fade In” image_url=”https://musonisystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Mobile-Contribution.png” delay=””] [/image_with_animation]
This trend links with Musoni’s objective to use innovative technology to increase financial inclusion to unbanked populations across Africa (Sub Saharan Africa still accounts for approximately 53% of mobile money live services). We have now integrated with mobile money transfer providers including M-PESA and Airtel in Kenya, M-PESA in Tanzania, Payway in Uganda and numerous aggregators across the region. In the pipeline are integrations with Tigo in Tanzania, Ecocash in Zimbabwe and MTN in Ghana. The size and reach of mobile money agent networks are increasing fast, and now out-size traditional financial and remittance service networks.
Significantly, two trends are responsible for the growth in the mobile money industry – the rapid shift to mobile broadband (i.e. 3G and 4G ) and the increase in smartphone adoption. As seen in the picture below, there is an accelerating technology shift to mobile broadband networks globally. In 2014, mobile broadband connections accounted for just under 40% of total connections, but by 2020 will increase to almost 70% of the total. [image_with_animation animation=”Fade In” image_url=”https://musonisystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Mobile-broadband.png” delay=””] [/image_with_animation]
The contributing factors behind this migration consists of the availability and affordability of smartphones and more extensive and deeper network coverage. This has the potential to revolutionise the way in which financial services are delivered, in particular increasing transparency and placing more information directly into the hands of the clients. In the future, it offers the possibility of loan applications coming in directly from clients, and additional value-added-services such as surveys or training going straight to the client.
And below for the projected rises in smartphones. [image_with_animation animation=”Fade In” image_url=”https://musonisystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Smartphone-adoption-forecast.png” delay=””] [/image_with_animation]
The advantage of these trends ( an increase in migration to smartphones and mobile broadband networks is that, it creates the potential to bring access to a broad range of apps and services. Musoni recognizes these potentials and by Q2 of this year, she will be launching her client facing app. The client facing app will place information and control in the hands of individuals, enabling customers to carry out things like balance inquiries, account transfers and loan applications on their phones and tablets.