Understanding Mobile Wallets in Africa

The demand for mobile wallets is really high these days, especially in Africa. A mobile wallet (also called digital wallet) stores payment information on a mobile device, usually an app. 

Mobile wallets have been described as the perfect tool to bridge the gap between financial services and the underserved in continents like Africa. With mobile wallets in some countries, families are able to receive money from their loved ones abroad straight on their mobile phones. 

Using mobile wallets, people are also able to make payments for utilities, shopping and access a host of financial products on the go. This revolution is changing the way people deal with money and Africa is a fine example of this. 

Mobile wallets come with a lot of conveniences. People from countries with a functional mobile wallet infrastructure can send money directly to any registered mobile wallet within seconds. The receiver does not have to have a bank account or a cash agent nearby to access the funds sent to them. Generally, the convenience brought by mobile wallets is one of the main reasons why its adoption is growing really fast in Africa and other parts of the world. But why are mobile payments so important, in Africa?

When Kenya first launched M-Pesa in 2007 for example, the idea was to allow micro-finance loan repayment to made via phone, of course, this was to reduce the costs involved with handling cash. The service has, however, today evolved as a general money transfer service and is now a payment norm with most Kenyans and other Africans use it to make hosts of payments.  

Mobile wallets provide an opportunity to change the way consumers manage their money in increasingly convenient and quick ways. They are also being used to bring financial inclusion and empowering people in developing markets where conventional bank coverage is uneven.

Mobile wallets simplify your financial activities. It actually takes less time to use your mobile wallet than any other method of payment, so it can save you so much time at the till for example when you are making payments.  It’s always easy to forget your wallet at home, but most of us always remember to bring their phones with us, that means you’re always prepared for when you need to purchase something. If a need for cash arises, then you can get the cash using various agent locations and ATMs. 

Africa’s future is backed by mobile wallets. Upesi Money Transfer, one of Africa’s most dependable money transfer brands enables real-time international money transfers to mobile wallets across Africa.  Upesi has a presence in the East African and West African region with a vision to become Africa’s number one remittance solution, and they are well on their way to becoming just that.

Using Upesi Money mobile wallet transfer service is really simple to use. All customers need is Just choose the country, enter the amount, select mobile wallet account or bank, enter the recipient details and send.

As the role of the mobile wallets continues to evolve in Africa, so will its presence in the economy. While you may not have an opportunity to use it often now, a mobile wallet will come in handy eventually.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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