How mobile money turns out to be the first choice for Africans - Impact on iGaming industry

Mobile money appeal and quick adoption in African countries have primarily been due to its democratisation of financial services

After more than a decade since its emergence, mobile money has evolved into the standard financial service. It is now the first choice for many groups in developing African countries. In other words, its appeal and quick adoption in African countries have primarily been due to its democratisation of financial services 

africa mobileThe rapid adoption of mobile money in many groups is not only due to its convenience but also because it is found in many developed markets. Furthermore, it bridges the gaps for those African people who do not utilise banking services due to the lackluster service provided by the sector. The traditional banking service struggles to keep up with the demand due to the ever-increasing African population. The lack of access to the services, poor user experience in rural and remote areas, and the expenses to manage for the population all contributes to the frustration of consumer experience right through the customer spectrum. As a result of this, the Fintech brand has solved this issue by making emerging markets become the epicenter of mobile money activity, with sub-Saharan Africa experiencing the most significant growth. The region transaction volume and value of mobile money has experienced double-digit growth during the last decade. 

Meanwhile, mobile money is expected to reach 500 million by the end of 2020. This runaway success has been evident in Africa. Mobile money would positively impact the sub-Saharan African economy by $150 billion by 2022, according to GSMA. Businesses such as e-commerce and Africa's gaming and gambling industry have all benefitted from mobile money and will definitely continue to benefit in the future. The contribution of mobile money has been instrumental to the exponential growth of the iGaming betting and gambling industry in the continent in recent years. 

Consequently, several iGaming companies have been quick to adopt mobile money services and other digital payment services to enable customers to deposit and receive payments in the comfort of their own home. The mobile money technology has been able to solve the pain point of customers, reducing stress. With just their mobile device, customers can load money directly into a mobile wallet, which they can use more like an online bank account by depositing and withdrawing funds, transferring money and paying bills. This makes this method to be the first choice upon the African people to complete transactions.  

africa mobile paymentAs mentioned earlier, the iGaming industry is of no exception to this impact of mobile money widespread acceptance. It has, of course, been crucial to the gambling industry that has seen a surge in the proliferation of iGaming betting and gambling with the increasing numbers of customers preferring to use their smartphone device to place bets thanks to the massive influx of smartphone users, which is expected to reach 690 million by 2050. Mobile-first is now the new norm for the young African population to carry out all their activities online. Therefore, the iGaming sphere's sector has been experiencing unprecedented growth. Online represents 23% of the total betting GGR for Africa of $1.15bn. Within that, mobile represents just over half of the real gambling GGR. The figures are 12% online, with 40% of that via mobile. The iGaming intelligence specialist H2 Gambling Capital value in 2012 projected that the African iGaming businesses value would, likely, more than double in the next five years, reaching an estimated level of more than 2 billion dollars. Though it's more likely to surpass the estimated figure due to the current COVID-19 crisis that has resulted in pushing digitalisation even further. Looking at the numbers of people who went online during lockdown, the iGaming sphere looks even more of a first choice for punters in the next few years. 

By Adeleye Awakan: An Author for E-play Africa, on gaming and gambling industry, AI, Blockchain, Fintech, researcher, and consultant with over 5 years of experience in the Africa gaming and gambling ecosystem. Connect with him on Linkeldln, Adeleye Awakan Skype: live:a2b5e96b401c7985 Telegram: @AdeleyeAwakan, Email:gableee4all@yahoo.com    

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