Nigeria’s population favourable to mobile money industry growth – Kanyeki

The Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, TerraPay, Mr Willie Kanyeki, discusses the digital payment ecosystem in Africa with Temitayo Jaiyeola, and explains that Nigeria’s population is favourable to the industry’s growth

According to a recent whitepaper by your organization, the West African region was responsible for over 21 million new mobile money accounts in 2020. What would you say was responsible for this growth? What is driving adoption in this region?

Accelerated by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, countries across the world were forced to modernise their payment systems with touchless and contactless payment options to keep commerce flowing and sustain economic growth.

Similarly, the African economy showed resilience. Consumers turned to digital payments during the pandemic as the demand for household supplies and personal care soared. Our research with IBS revealed that Africa, during the pandemic, witnessed the fastest growth rate in mobile penetration, with about 50-55 per cent of the population owning a smartphone.

The digitisation of financial services during the pandemic was one of the key growth drivers for Western Africa. Nigeria alone has registered growth in digital payments, followed by Ghana. They are in the mobile money market with approximately 295 million mobile money transactions per month.

Youth demographics are one of the key drivers of the demand for cashless and frictionless payments. The rise in the number of millennials and uncovering the underbanked population have also contributed to this growth. In addition to this, the sophisticated ecosystem of homegrown payment service providers and aggregators is also driving the adoption of digital payments in the region, mainly because of the swift and affordable solutions that these payment and financial institutions provide.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has set a financial inclusion target of 95 per cent by 2024. In what ways can digital wallets help achieve the…

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