The latest e-Banking Africa report compares the cost of remitting money to various African countries, and looks into MasterCard’s attempt to transform the continent from cash-reliant to cashless.
Says Anne Agbakoba, Editor & Chief Reasearch Officer at NUMERIS-MEDIA: “In 2010, 34 per cent (313 million) of Africa’s population was considered to be ‘middle class’, and this figure is projected to triple to about 1 billion people by 2060. With its increasing consumer population, and an expanding middle class, Africa shows great promise as the new frontier for retail consumption.
“Little surprise then that leading global payment companies, MasterCard and Visa International, are literally jostling for market share on a continent where spectacular consumer spending is happening at the same time that a growing number of Africans are choosing electronic payments in lieu of cash.”
According to a recent study done by MasterCard, entitled “The Global Journey from Cash to Cashless”, [http://mastercardadvisors.com/cashlessjourney], more than a third of all consumer payments were made using cash in 33 countries, representing more than 85 percent of global gross domestic product. This amounted to $63 trillion – and an incredible opportunity to convert from cash to plastic cards.
In the December 2013 e-Banking Africa report, Agbakoba chats with Omokehinde Ojomuyide [Vice-President & Area Business Head, West Africa, MasterCard], who shares major inroads made by MasterCard in Africa such as the high-profile partnership with Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to roll out millions of National Identity Smart Cards that have prepaid payment functionality.
The second part of the report analyses the remittances market in Africa – a large and growing phenomenon, fuelled by two things: an increasing demand from developed economies for workers from developing countries who tend to send wages back to their home countries; and a shift from informal to formal electronic channels in wiring these funds back home.
According to a World Bank report [“Send Money Africa”], Africans sent a staggering $60 billion to the continent in 2012, but were overcharged by Money Transfer Companies (MTCs) to the tune of $4 billion.
Africans living abroad could be sending more money back home if remittance fees were not so high, the World Bank said in the report.
In the current e-Banking Africa issue, Ismail Ahmed [CEO & Founder, WorldREMIT] shares what he refers to as the “The Dark Secret of the Money Transfer Industry.”
Teddy Ruge [Founder, Remit.ug], also says his company’s remittance services to Uganda are far cheaper, faster and more convenient than services offered by entrenched industry leaders, Western Union and MoneyGram.
The e-Banking Africa report ends with a review of the best three smartphone apps for managing and maximising credit card rewards – Wallaby, Reward Summit, and Smorecard.
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