Betting industry emerging as a major player in the mobile money industry

Kenyans transacted over Kes.960 billion through mobile money in the first three months of 2018. This is according to data from the Central Bank of Kenya released in July. The increase in mobile money transactions according to the Central Bank was partly driven by mobile phones as many Kenyans continue to borrow loans through services such as Mshwari, KCB M-Pesa, and many others. Interestingly, increase in sports betting also pushed the volume of these transactions up as many people transferred money using the betting firms paybill numbers.

What this basically means is that the sports bettings craze is still very high in the country and it’s here to stay. As we have mentioned in previous articles on this website, many Africans are making money by betting on sports on platforms like Betin Kenya. All they need to do is just register on platforms like Betin Kenya’s for example and they will be good to go. Although as much as 40% of the African population is said to be below the poverty line, the continent is also emerging as one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the world.

In Kenya alone, a  number of betting companies are cashing in on the Kenyan gambling craze. In fact, it is estimated that the annual turnover of sports betting in Kenya is $20 million which amounts to about Sh2.1 billion.

So why is mobile money a contributing factor? First, people can bet on matches through their mobile phones. wherever they are, at any time and win money. All users need is a mobile phone registered in their name and the betting company will then advise users on the best line to use for this process most of which is always a Safaricom or Airtel line for M-Pesa or Airtel Money withdrawal purposes. This again shows how mobile money companies are cashing in on the betting business. In fact, Kenyans using mobile money platform M-Pesa to bet helped Vodafone Plc’s unit in the East African country boost transaction volumes by 48 percent in 2015.

Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore has even confirmed in a past interview that sports betting uses M-Pesa a lot and has absolutely overtaken every other sector.

There is no doubt that the betting industry is emerging as a major player in the mobile money industry. This is expected to even grow especially after a recent report by GSMA Mobile Economy report indicated that more than half of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa will be connected to mobile service by 2025. This means there will be 634 million unique mobile subscribers across the region which is equivalent to 52 percent of the population, up from 44 million (44%) at the end of last year.  

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