Switch to mobile payments raises cash transfers

Airtel Money and M-Pesa shops in Nairobi. Money transferred through mobile phones hit Sh375.1 billion in the first quarter of the year from Sh240.77 billion sent between January and March last year. Photo/File
By David Mugwe (email the author)

The value of money transferred through mobile phones rose by 55.77 per cent in the first three months of the year to Sh375.1 billion, as more users switched to paying for goods and services through their phones.
New data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that money transferred through mobile phones rose by Sh134.3 billion in the first quarter of the year from Sh240.77 billion sent between January and March last year.
The amount of money transferred through mobile phones in the first quarter of 2010 stood at Sh154.49 billion, having risen from Sh89.58 billion in 2009, and Sh16.03 billion in 2008.
Michael Ghossein, the chief executive officer of Telkom Kenya which operates Orange Money, said that mobile phone cash transfer systems were evolving into payments systems, offering consumers more options.
“It is now transforming from mobile money transfer to mobile payments, soon you will be paying for goods and services such as groceries and fuel with the mobile phone,” said Mr Ghossein.
Companies have also begun adopting mobile phone money for payment of staff salaries. In the 12 months to the end of last year, the value of money transferred through mobile phones rose to Sh1.169 trillion from Sh732.22 billion in 2010.
“There is a market out there that is not exploited and the dramatic increase in the use of mobile money is a reflection of this,” said Habil Olaka, chief executive officer of the Kenya Bankers Association.
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Nigeria to introduce mobile technology for teachers

Nigeria, under the flagship of the National Teacher’s Institute (NTI), has mapped out strategies to use mobile technologies to update the knowledge of teachers and strengthen their competencies.

This statement was made by NTI Director-General, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu at the end of a workshop organized by UNESCO in conjunction with Nokia.

The workshop which was tagged, “Mobile Technologies and Teacher Development,” held at UNESCO’s office in Paris, France.

According to the DG, four pilot projects will be launched soon to explore how mobile technologies can be used to support teachers in Nigeria and three other countries – Mexico, Pakistan and Senegal.

The NTI Director-General remarked that these projects are solely aimed at strengthening the competencies of teachers in the region.By Charlie Frip

Mobile banking in Africa

Mobile banking, due to the inherent characteristics of mobile phone as a device, can contribute to each of each of the strategic drivers:

Increase market penetration. Due to their accessibility, mobile phones provide an invaluable pportunity to reach rural and remote areas, thus opening a new unexplored segment for MFIs. In countries, where mobile telecommunication networks are already established and used by mobile network operators for their main businesses, it makes more financial sense to offer financial services through these networks, rather than invest in the roll-out of the costly branches and ATMs.

Sell more services to existing customers. Mobile phone represents an effective channel to offer new products and services to existing customers. Customers need more than payments and money transfer; providers should develop products that fit their real needs and use mobile phone to market and deliver them to clients.

 Retention of most valuable customers. Physical proximity and ubiquity of mobile devices contributes above all to the convenience of clients. The possibility to perform financial transactions on their mobile phones allows consumers the opportunity to free themselves from various time-consuming and costly activities associated with institutional banking systems. It helps to increase the level of client‘s satisfaction in dealing with MFI. Read More

Mobile Internet Traffic Continues Skyward

cisco bar graph

To no one’s particular surprise, mobile traffic is set to double in 2012 and then hit 10.8 exabytes a month by 2016. Cisco says that video is now more than half the total data stream and 4G accounts for six percent of traffic.

Internet traffic continues to grow year over year, but one segment is growing faster than any other — mobile. Networking giant Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) today released a Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast for Global Mobile Data Traffic, showing a dramatic rise over the next five years.By Sean Michael Kerner | Feb 14, 2012, Read More