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Beyonic, Mobile Accord pair up

By , Journalist
Kenya , 30 Sep 2015

Beyonic, Mobile Accord pair up

The East African mobile money scene is ramping up, with technology firm Beyonic entering into a partnership with Mobile Accord to set-up the largest mobile money aggregator in Africa, Airtel Tanzania initiating loan disbursements for agents through cellphones, and Kenyan citizens leading the charge in mobile money transactions.

The Beyonic Mobile Accord partnership will enhance uptake of mobile money in East African countries such as Uganda and Kenya through the use of mobile solutions for financial inclusion.

"For those working in emerging markets, cash payments are riddled with security and logistical issues. Over the past few years, mobile money has become popular both for businesses looking to move away from cash, and for individuals who do not have the means to open traditional bank accounts," said Luke Kyohere, chief executive officer of Beyonic.

Kyohere added that his company's system allows NGOs, businesses and individuals to "utilise mobile money for expenses with very little set-up".

The partners are said to be working on an expansion roadmap beginning with ten key markets: Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Agency growth

This bodes well for operators like Airtel Tanzania which said this week it will offer loans for its mobile money agents to grow their mobile money agency businesses.

Raphael Daudi, the Lake Zone manager for Airtel Tanzania said at a seminar this week that the Tanzanian telco was "to offer unsecured loans to over 20,000 agents across the country to help them develop their businesses, increase their profits and to provide money flow to the society".

Companies such as Econet Wireless and Telecel Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe already provide support for mobile money agents. This has enabled mobile money platforms in the country to take off and solved float cash availability issues for cash-out purposes, especially for agents that are far from banks.

According to the World Bank's recently released World Development Report, Kenya and Tanzania are witnessing rapid growth and massive usage of mobile money platforms.

Chief economist at the World Bank Professor Kaushik Basu said at a heads of nations meeting at the United Nations in New York this week that Kenya's "M-Pesa mobile money service where people deposit their money or send money in Kenya is now competing with similar systems in rich countries in the world. For every 1,000 adults, there are 700 M-Pesa accounts in Kenya".

Basu said Tanzania was now "the leading country in the world in providing mobile money services" as well as providing "low interest loans through mobile phone services".

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