Economics

Countries Where Mobile Banking Is Most Popular

Mobile banking is popular in a number of African countries with Botswana topping the list.

Mobile banking involves the use of a mobile handset to execute banking tasks. Such functions include the transfer of funds between accounts, checking balances, paying bills, and searching for an ATM. Mobile banking can be done through applications, SMS, or mobile web. Mobile banking is emerging as an efficient way of handling finances. The concept is popular in Africa where African nations account for the six spots in the ten countries in the world with high rates of mobile banking use.

The top nations in mobile banking usage are:

Botswana

In 2014, about 44.5% of account holders in Botswana made banking transactions via a mobile. The increasing popularity of mobile banking in Botswana has forced banks to introduce mobile banking programs. The FNB Africa Bank, for example, launched eWallet, a mobile money transfer service which has been reflecting growth in the number of transactions. Other banks have rolled out their mobile services including Stanbic Bank. The success of such services in Botswana has triggered their implementation in neighboring countries such as Lesotho.

Kenya

In Kenya, about 39.7% of account holders carried out their banking transaction using a mobile platform in 2014. The launch of M-PESA in 2007 proved to be a game-changer for the country's economy. M-PESA is a mobile money system used by more than 17 million of Kenya's population and which enables individuals to perform a range of financial tasks such as buying airtime, transferring funds, paying bills, and saving money via their phones. Since it is easy to use, the system has been attracting more and more users. It was rolled out by mobile phone service provider Safaricom, and the company continues to enhance it through innovations. The system's success in Kenya has prompted its expansion into neighboring nations as well.

Uganda

In 2014, 38.5% of Uganda's account holders made banking transactions via mobile platforms. Mobile money was launched in Uganda in 2009, and it has so far reflected massive growth. More than 18 million mobile money users had been registered by December of 2014. Mobile money customers in Uganda use mobile money platforms to settle retail payments, store and make domestic remittances. Banks have reacted to the popularity of mobile banking with the launch of applications performing various functions.

Tanzania

37.7% of account holders in Tanzania conducted banking transactions through mobile platforms in 2014. Tanzania, like its neighbor Kenya, has embraced M-PESA which was launched by Vodacom. Vodacom boasts the highest number of cellular users in Tanzania. M-PESA in the nation is popular with businesses such as retail outlets, schools, and supermarkets. Vodacom is seeking to expand its mobile money service in regards to some users as well as in the range of services offered in the country and other African nations like Mozambique.

Benefits Of Mobile Banking

Mobile banking has been attracting an increasing pool of users especially in developing economies. Mobile banking is a system based on financial inclusion where people who would ordinarily be locked out of traditional banks can access financial services. Individuals can now easily link with their banks and pay bills and utilities, access loans, and transfer funds. Financial services are further accessible 24/7 and users do not have to queue or travel.

Countries Where Mobile Banking Is Most Popular

RankCountry% of account holders who made a banking transaction on a mobile, 2014
1Botswana44.5
2Kenya39.7
3Uganda38.5
4Tanzania37.7
5Cote d’Ivoire36.7
6Zimbabwe35.6
7South Korea35.5
8US34.3
9Sweden34.1
10Australia33.8

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