In South Africa and Nigeria, banks want to be phone companies. In Kenya, the phone company is already the bank

M-PESA: Mobile money in East Africa (Reuters/Noor Khamis)

There has been so much discussion about the impact of the mobile phone on the financial industry in African countries but this tweet by former bank boss Michael Jordaan, who is now a venture capitalist, best sums things up:

FNB Connect is the new “virtual mobile network” launched by the South African bank that aims to compete in the telco space in the country. Meanwhile, M-PESA is the mobile money platform, owned by Kenya’s Safaricom, that has reconfigured the financial industry in east Africa.

Something similar may be happening in Nigeria. Now, mobile money has not quite taken in Africa’s largest economy. Despite having close to 80% mobile penetration and 57% of the adult population lacking access to formal financial services, the number of Nigerians who “actively” use mobile money is a measly 0.1%. Lack of trust, awareness and knowledge about the services are some of the reasons given as to why this may be the case.

Read more: In South Africa and Nigeria, banks want to be phone companies–in Kenya, the phone company is already the bank – Quartz

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