Volume 1 | Issue II
Benjamin Lyon - FrontlineSMS : Credit
John Owens - Mabs Philipines
Patrick Ngabonziza Gordon - Mobicash
Hannes van Rensburg - Fundamo
Post Office Networks and
Piet Biemans - CEO, BOFIB BV
Mobile Money Africa Directory Update
Accells. Affinity Global service.Aikku.AitecAfrica .AmaranteConsulting.
Mobile Money.Mukuru.Nokia.Osaifu –Keitai.Paradigm Solutions &
Emmanuel Okoegwale, Thank you for making Mobile Money Africa – Number
Editor. one in Africa.
Join us as a founding member and organization as
Welcome to Mobile Money Africa, The continent's Mobile Money moves to the next level of Continent wide
leading portal for Mobile Financial Inclusion with industry association (In –Formation) Send an email to
News, contributions, events and interviews from Kwest@mobilemoneyAfrica.com to know more
leading players across Africa and beyond. The Mobile
channel is the next frontier for an all inclusive financial
Look out for the next issue which focuses on mobile
systems for Africans in coming years. payment technologies
We welcome all stakeholders on board:
Telecommunications, Financial Institutions, Micro Send us news, events, technology roll - outs,
Finance Institutions, regulators and independent advertorials and special features for the December
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Amaka Agbakoba Ofume, Former Senior World Bank
Meneske Gencer, Director - Mpayconnect, Inc.
Aiaze Mitha, Director - Amarante Consulting LLc.
Avijit Nanda, President - Timesofmoney India
Graham Orodje, CEO - TaurusMobile
Follow us on
Jeppe Ramlau - Hansen, - VP - Clickatell
Advisory Board Membership
Thank you for your wonderful Job with the E-
Mag but I have issues with the composition of
the MMA board which is not reflective of
CreditSMS claim that sms works on all
African representation. Are you saying
mobile phone cannot be right. Many CDMA
Africans do not have expertise in this field? I
do not offer SMS and I wonder how those
class of subscribers will use your application.
Achimota - Accra
Garki – Abuja
Thanks for your comments. The board is still
in its infancy and two of our principal
members are actually Nigerians. Amaka
You may reach CreditSMS via email to clarify
Ofume and Graham Orodje. We are still
the proposed countries of operations at
actively seeking for experts in this field.
Western Union Interview:
Sending Love Home
Your write up on how Africans send money is
According to your interview with the VP,
very educative and useful, however, you
Western Union, the firm is planning to launch
quoted the dollar currency for passport
into Mobile remittances like the Banks or
issuance cost in Nigeria. Nigerian uses Naira
mobile operators. Are they going to be
and not the dollar.
holding money deposits like the Banks too?
Lagos – Nigeria
Amsterdam – Holland.
The chart used in the article was credited to
I had been wondering for so long why I am
Gamos.It is actually Gamos uk.Please make
not able to send money across countries in
west Africa using Western Union. Your
interview is enlightening and I hope that the
governments will address the regulatory
issues raised by Mr Fellahi of Western Union.
The dream to launch Micro Finance using
Thank you for observation. The Magazine is
SMS is quite laudable and I Had visited the
for global audience and the use of dollar is
site but no list of countries in Africa where it
deliberate. Thank you.
will be operational.
Monrovia - Liberia.
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com November 2009 | 4
ina, a Ghanaian Lady that I met on my
recent trip from Accra, the capital city of
conditions like the large commercial Bank ( LCB)
Ghana to Aflao, the border town with
to a different type of customer .Some even went
Republic of Togo, was travelling to conduct
further to style their offices to look imposing and
withdrawal transactions with her ATM card and
as intimidating and located in the major cities like
nine other cards belonging to friends. The
the LCB, far away from their potential and
distance to Aflao from her rustic roadside village
targeted market. Rather than close the gap, the
is close to 45 kilometers and return trip will
MFI's by design are widening it.
consume three hours of her productive time as a
school teacher. She said 'I do this every week
For the unbanked African, with few options for
and also help my friends but I don't know if I can
formal financial inclusion, out of sight is out of
continue this way. She continued 'If by the end of
mind. They continue to patronize the informal
the year, no Bank stations an ATM in her locality
channel which is unreliable and unsafe. While
or open a Branch, I will resort to keeping my
promoting this imbalances, the LCB are slow to
money under my pillow. At least I don't incur
take on innovations that can significantly change
charges to make withdrawals from under my bed'.
this pattern and are quick to muscle in any
That is the typical scenario across Africa's rural
perceived incursions into what they think will be
population. She might end up adding to the
their bread and butter forever, the unbanked
statistics of the previously banked by the year
The games changers are here. Regulations
In Africa, in bid to turn in massive profits and
across the world is changing and favoring the
assume a continental Player status, Banks are
entities that can make it happen. In Kenya, while
focused on the Big picture:Africa, while neglecting
the Banks are still importing security doors and
their backyards where credible statistics has
window blinds to set up 'profit centres' Bank
shown that 70% percent of the citizens live in the
Branches, Safaricom through Mpesa is busy
rural and semi Urban areas. The Banks are
signing up agents.
engaged in a Grand prix like race to breast the
While the telcos are promoting a Bank in your
tape into many African countries.
pocket strategy, The Banks are busy pushing the
crowds through their doors. Last update on
With the ear bursting sermons of Banking the
banking statistics in Nigeria, shows there are
unbanked in Africa and yet the attitude of the
22,000 people to a Bank Branch.
Banks are a direct opposite, it seems to be
fashionable to sing the song but never dancing to
With the new thinking amongst African Financial
it. While some Large Rural local governments in
and telecommunications regulators, the bridge is
some parts of Nigeria are without a Bank branch,
closing on the Financial institutions that are not
a high street in Lagos of 1.8 kilometer stretch has
ready to use what the Left Behinds already have,
8 branches of a particular Bank which translates
the Mobile Phone. Little snippets from the Bank /
into a bank branch for every 180 meters. These
Telcos, war front capital – Kenya, The Crying
are same Banks with aggressive African roll outs,
Babies are the Banks and the winner is Mpesa
exporting same disconnections.
with Seven million subscribers .Will the likes of
FrontlineSMS:Credit, MTN Mobile Money, Wizzit
Governments in her wisdom, thought Micro
in South Africa, Txtpay in Ghana,Mi-pay in sierra
Finance Institutions will bridge the gap but they
leaone and Tagattitude in Nigeria, be able to
too fell into the large commercial Banks trap by
replicate the Mpesa challenge? Only time will tell
modeling their services to be exact or look alike.
but for sure, the game changers are here.
They issue same standard KYC forms and
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com November 2009 | 6
Len Pienaar,CEO,FNB mCommerce
he use of informal mechanisms has for a long the 4,300 FNB ATMs across South Africa.”
time been the traditional means of remitting The Sender sends money to the receiver`s
money from one family member to the other cellphone number. The receiver gets an automated
in Africa. Generally, the sender would have to travel SMS telling them how much money has been sent
to a bus/ taxi rank to give a driver the money, along and instructing them how to get their money. The
with the physical address and name of the receiver. receiver will need to dial a number from their
Although trends have changed, there are still a lot cellphone and follow the instructions on the easy to
of people in Africa that do not have bank accounts. use menu. The receiver can then request a
The receiver would have to wait, in some instances temporary ATM PIN to withdraw the money from the
days, for the bus or taxi to deliver the money to ATM, without the need of a bank card or bank
“The service addresses a number of access
To ensure the money safely reaches the receiver, barriers to banking. It`s affordable, transactions are
the sender would get charged a certain fee, performed in real-time, it`s convenient and
depending on the amount sent. In most instances accessible to any receiver with a cellphone – which
the system worked, but what does this do for the millions of people in Africa are already using,” says
development of African communities asks Yolande van Wyk.
van Wyk, CEO of FNB eMoney Product House, “Banking strategies that reach out to the entire
South Africa. community will eventually lead to the unbanked
The need to assist communities to develop access having greater access to financial services,” says
to banking, financial services and remittance van Wyk.
instruments has seemingly become a matter of “With Send Money and other innovations from
urgency. FNB, we are committing to bridging the gap in our
“Access barriers to banking have traditionally been communities. Through the use of innovative
caused by the high cost of banking together with the technologies we believe that we`ll be able to
lack of banking facilities in remote areas, trust and significantly change the way people manage their
concerns around the ease of use of banking money,” says van Wyk.
services,” says van Wyk. FNB`s Send Money is currently active in South
With innovative banking technologies, banking has Africa. The bank is looking at expanding the service
become simpler, convenient, cheaper and more across borders to other African countries where the
accessible to people from all walks of life. bank has a presence. This includes Botswana,
Zambia, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.
“FNB`s Send Money is one of many innovations by
FNB mCommerce aimed at bridging the gap
between the banked and unbanked,” says van
Wyk. “It allows FNB South Africa's banking
customers to send money to their families and
friends. The receiver does not need to have a bank
card or a bank account to access the money sent to
them, they simply withdraw their money from one of
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 8
05 November, Johannesburg, South Africa - initiatives to ensure a better understanding of the
FNB eMoney Product House CEO, Yolande van sending and receiving process.
Wyk today announced the launch of Send Money - Part of the attraction to the payment service is that it
an instant solution for FNB customers to transfer makes use of the cellphone. This device, which is
money to anyone with a South African cellphone. being used by millions of South
According to FinScope, 3.8 million people send Africans, is closing the distance between sender
money to family and friends living within South and receiver. Through the use of the cellphone we
Africa annually. Most family members to whom are bringing innovative payment services to
money is sent receives it in cash. Now FNB consumers from all walks of life.
customers can send money instantly to anyone
who has a South African cellphone. The receiver With Send Money and other innovations from FNB,
does not need to have a bank card or a bank we are committing to bridging the gap between the
account to access the money sent to them, they banked and unbanked. Through the use of
simply withdraw their money from one of the 4,300 innovative technologies we believe that we`ll be
FNB ATMs across the country. able to significantly change the way people
manage their money, says Len Pienaar, FNB
FNB's Send Money offers money-senders an mCommerce CEO. To access their money, the
instant and secure money transfer service, as well receiver will need to dial *120*277# from their
as offering receivers various electronic transaction cellphone and follow the instructions on the easy-
options, says van Wyk. The receiver gets an to-use menu.
automated SMS telling them how much money has
been sent and instructing them how to get the Receivers who do not have air time to request their
money. The receiver can then request a temporary temporary ATM PIN can make use of a free number
ATM PIN to withdraw the money at service FNB *130*277# which, when dialed from their cellphone,
ATMs without the need of a bank card. will enable them to buy air time with the money
Prior to the launch of Send Money, we conducted
research on the challenges being faced by From 22 November 2009 until 15 May 2010 there
consumers when sending money. Some of the will be no charges to send money, and receivers will
concerns were about whether the money would get be able to check their balances and send money on
to its destination,how long it would take to get there to someone else free of charges.
and the costs associated with sending money, says
van Wyk. For more information contact:
These concerns derive from the fact that money
sent is for basic needs such as food and groceries.
FNB customers can send money instantly, at any
time of the day or even at night, without having to Vuma Reputaiton Management
wait for the branches to open the next day. We are Contact: + 27 (0) 82 501 3811
providing our customers with a secure way to send
money to loved ones when they need it. It is also
simple to use,? says van Wyk.
There are no bank charges to withdraw at ATMs so Steve Higgins
receivers will get all of the money sent to them. FNB Corporate Communications
Withdrawals can be made in full, or receivers may
choose to withdraw part of the money and keep the Contact: +27 (0) 11 371 7854
rest in a Wallet for future use. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, receivers will have access to other
services with the money in the Wallet. They can buy
prepaid airtime for themselves or
someone else, send money on to someone else,
check their balances and shop online using Cell
Pay Point, a service that allows the receiver to pay
for online shopping using their cellphone. FNB has
put in place a number of consumer education
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 9
FNB eMoney Product House CEO,
Yolande van Wyk
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 10
Zain Zap, Postal Corporation sign partnership agreement
Zain Kenya has signed a partnership agreement with Postal Corporation that will enable its customers to register for
the company's ZAP services through postal outlets.
Speaking at the launch the postmaster, retired major general Hussein Ali said that the partnership agreement
designate postal corporation as an agent for the ZAP branch where they will accept cash deposits and make
payments on behalf of ZAIN Kenya money transfer service customers.
"Under this agency, Postal Corporation will on behalf of Zain Kenya undertake the registration of new zap brand
service at various postal outlets and a commission of sh50 per customer," he said.
He went on to say that the corporation will facilitate cash-in and cash-out transaction where it will earn a commission
of sh10 and sh15 per transaction.
Zain Kenya Managing Director Rene Meza said that using the ZAP services customers can now deposit or withdraw
money from their accounts through Posta offices.
"Customers can now access zap cash transfer services in at least 14 outlets in Nairobi and 800 postal offices
countrywide before the end of November" Meza said adding that the corporations strong presence especially in the
rural and peri-urban areas was a wise move.
Meza said that more than Sh1 billion has been transferred through the ZAP service since it was launched early this
year adding that they were in talks with other financial institutions to increase the penetration of the service in the
“Posta outlets will augment the existing 3,000 agents countrywide, a move that is expected to deepen the
penetration of the eight month old mobile commerce service.
ZAP customers can now sign for the Zain services by sending an SMS with word zap to 455 after which they will be
provided with a vital bank account.
The account will enable them use their mobile phones in as much the same way as debit cards.
Western Union cuts ties with its Riyadh partner
RIYADH — Eight Western Union centers in Riyadh have been shut after the money transfer services provider
terminated its contract with a local partner, threatening jobs.
Director of Corporate Communications Elena Shalneva confirmed the company had closed the so-called agent
locations after cutting ties with Mohammed A. Al-Fanih and Partners for Exchange.
Shalneva, speaking from Germany, said the closures would not affect business in Saudi Arabia as Western Union
already has two major agents, Al-Bilad Bank and Samba — operating in more than 130 locations. These strategic
relationships, she said, provide other services besides money transfer. Shalneva played down the closures,
claiming it was “part of the normal course of business.
“The closure of a handful of locations that were opened by the third agent will not affect our business,” she added.
She stressed that regulatory authorities in the Kingdom had no influence on Western Union's decision to close the
Meanwhile, Shalneva confirmed Western Union was all set to announce new products and services for the Gulf
region including Saudi Arabia. Kuwait-based mobile network operator Zain has confirmed it has teamed up with the
company to deliver joint mobile money transfer services in MENA countries through its Zap platform, according to a
report seen by Arab News on Wednesday. The Zap service already gives Zain customers access to a full range of
transactional services from their mobile phones. Customers can manage bank accounts, top-up or transfer airtime,
and move money to businesses, friends and family.
Western Union currently serves millions of people in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia with more than
278,000 agent locations in about 160 countries.
More than 270 banks and postal institutions across the world are Western Union agents. The Kingdom is home to
about nine million foreign workers, many of them using Western Union to send money back home.
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 11
9,500 kilometres submarine telecommunications $70 million. The world's largest cell-phone maker,
cable laid under the sea by Second National
Nokia Corp, made a significant investment in Obopay,
Operator, Globacom. The project which is expected
to revolutionize the provision of telecoms services a mobile service provider that basically turns a cell
on the sub-continent and make services truly phone into an interactive banking card.
affordable to individuals and corporate organizations,
is connecting Africa with Europe and the United States.
500 Million To Use Mobile Money Services By 2014. 16 000 locations. Western Union announced that it
According to new analysis from Juniper Research, had added 1 000 Agent locations to reach the network
consumer demand for mobile money transfer services milestone of 15 000 locations across 49 countries and
will see users exceed 500 million globally by 2014, territories, in the third quarter these efforts were doubled,
principally in developing countries. with an equal number being added in a single financial
and Mobile Money
Use of Post office networks improves financial inclusion
also through supporting mobile money transfers
Piet Biemans - CEO POFIB Development BV
“The services at the counters of the post offices
have an operational character and are often Piet Biemans
based on co-operation with local financial CEO POFIB Development BV
institutions, like retail banks (e.g. post and postal
savings banks) and giro and savings institutions.”
to improve people’s access to financial services
hrough the countrywide coverage the post Africa, namely the availability of secure,
office networks qualify for improving the experienced and cost efficient agent networks to be
financial inclusion for all people, including the regulated by the Central Bank.
rural and un- and under- banked.
In the field of low value, high volume cash
About 60-80% of the people in the African continent payments in most (emerging) countries the post
are un- and under-banked but about 40% offices are handling already an important portion of
possesses a mobile phone at the moment. This is operational payments, like cash in and cash out
expected to grow to about 60% in 2012 . Mobile services for utility payments, pensions, etc. This
money transfer (MMT) services can be the main often takes place under the approval and control of
driver in increasing financial inclusion of the un- and the Central Bank through a limited
under banked. payment/settlement license.
Through the postal networks in the African The country wide post offices network can be
countries a co-operation modus should and could contracted by mobile operators as a cash agent
be developed to be able to cover one of the most network, in principle via a contract with one party. In
critical aspects of success for modern efficient a number of African countries this is already taken
payments through mobile money transfers in place. This makes available a distribution network
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 16
all over the country, including procedures and The Universal Postal Union (UPU, an United
means to handle in an efficient and prudent way the Nations institute) is a multilateral institution to
cash 'streams'. improve the quality and international co-operating
Prudent and cost efficient cash management is one of postal companies. A sub-institution for the
of the main issues to solve in the field of payments African continent of the UPU is the PAPU (Pan
and financial services in emerging markets. This is African Postal Union).One of the objectives of the
needed because most 'modern' transfers like via PAPU is focused on advancing the poor through
mobile phones, often result in immediate postal services especially via financial inclusion.
withdrawal of cash via an agent network, at least in Because of cross-boarder co-operation the African
the starting period of the new service. In Kenya with postal networks are an explicit candidate for mobile
the Mpesa Mobile Payment solution the cash-in operators and banks to act as agent for mobile
and cash-out service represented about 53% of the banking and mobile money transfer services, local
transactions during the first period (2007/2008) and and international.
still is an important
component of the Of course the local suitability
MMT service.. and benefits of involving post
office networks should be
In 2006 an extensive analyzed for the individual
report 'The Role of postal organisation per
Of course the local suitability and country. Per country the postal
Postal Networks in
Expanding Access to benefits of involving post office companies have a different
Financial Services' position and background in the
networks should be analyzed field of (mass) retail financial
of the World bank
clarified the status of for the individual postal organisation services.
postal financial per country The development of an overall
s e r v i c e s o ff e r e d applicable analysis-,
through the postal development- and
office networks in implementation approach for
emerging countries post office companies to be
in all continents. able to align with partners in a
The study reviewed Mobile Money ecosystem can
information on postal financial services in 24 of the be supported via the postal
47 countries in the African continent. These multilateral African organisation PAPU.
countries are all actively involved in the provision of
postal financial services albeit with a broad Especially the expected booming development in
diversity in institutional structures, market the coming years of mobile money transfers and
performance, products and development. In these mobile banking can explicitly be supported through
African countries, with a population of 682 million a co-operation model for (postal) agent networks,
people and 14,750 Post Offices, the number of mobile operators and retail (post/ postal savings)
postal financial transactions were 6,9 million with a banks.
value of $ 1.6 billion per annum. These services are
mostly composed of postal giro and savings
accounts transactions, payments for utilities,
pensions, remittances (local and international) and
CEO POFIB Development BV
The services at the counters of the post offices
have an operational character and are often based www.pofib.com
on co-operation with local financial institutions, like email@example.com
retail banks (e.g. post and postal savings banks)
and giro and savings institutions.
Through these post office service networks the
process quality has been defined and maintained
under the responsibility of international postal
institutions (like Universal Postal Union, UPU) and
local governments (Ministry of Communication)
and of local financial institutions, and often under
the control of the Central bank.
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 17
MobiCash was born out of the need to
develop a convenient, secure and
affordable payment platform that will
address the use of our technology to
enable people who are not served by
financial institutions to start using
financial services without having to
access them through traditional bank
Give us a brief description of your business – what and Customer-to Merchant transactions, opening up
do you do? business opportunities for a multitude of small
businesses and operators. The merchant can sell
MobiCash was born out of the need to develop a goods and services as well as take deposits and
convenient, secure and affordable payment platform provide cash back services.
that will address the use of our technology to enable
people who are not served by financial institutions to What makes your business concept unique and
start using financial services without having to access universal?
them through traditional bank branches. By combining The patented technology developed by our partner
our vast knowledge in various IT domains and the TagAttitude is the cornerstone of our product
experience of our management team in learning and development and marketing strategy using any cell
excelling at new technologies, we were able to devise phone, over any network! Overview of the
a realistic business model and plan that utilise the technology include: NSDT™ (Near Sound Data
convergence of banking and telecommunications Transfer) and Voice Biometrics that works immediately
technologies. With MobiCash, every phone becomes on every phone. Transactions are securely signed with
like a bank account that is identified by its phone NSDT™ a technology that sends “cryptosounds”
number. Users can easily load, transfer, spend, give or through the phone's audio channel to enable contact-
retrieve cash from their phone. less mobile payment. To add another layer of security
Give an example of how the transaction of your our Voice Biometric solution is accomplished by
business model works? comparing the voiceprint that was created at
enrolment to a sample given when the user wants to
MobiCash leverages the ubiquity and power of the sign a transaction. Authentication is very fast; it can be
standard mobile phone as a payment platform, completed in 0.5 seconds.
delivering more customer convenience. MobiCash is
able to offer anyone with a cell phone a The majority of existing mobile payment solutions rely on
convenient, simple and easy to use mobile technologies such as SMS, USSD, NFC, or STK that
payment and banking at low transaction fees suffer from weak security, mobile network operator
regardless of the device and the mobile network dependence, requirements for specific handset
operator he is on. MobiCash turns any cell phone technology, or inappropriate design for retail
into a Merchant Point of Sale (PoS), giving the transactions. SMS and USSD payment processes are
merchant the ability to do both Merchant-to-Customer time consuming and ill suited to the retail context and
illiterate clients! These weaknesses have hindered the
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 20
effective deployment of many mobile payment services. This retail context problem is compounded by the fact that SMS and
USSD technologies can not be used on a POS and do not offer the possibility of printing a receipt.
The universality of our solution comes from the fact that the functions offered by NSDT™ are identical to NFC and is available
on every phone model without any modifications. NFC (near Field Communications) is an emerging standard and there are
plans to deploy it in western countries over the coming years. This deployment is expensive as it requires a change in existing
phones and the installment of specific Point of Sale (POS) terminals. When NFC is used with mobile phones it is under the
control of the MNO s, which detracts from the universality of this technology.
Clearly define and describe your target market?
To fill a niche of providing the first real opportunity for many unbanked people to get on to a formal “banking ladder” with
benefits including basic bank accounts, savings and micro-credits This is very promising for emerging countries as it brings
them bank services leveraging the existing cell phone infrastructure already in place. MobiCash has a simple solution to bank
the unbanked and offer them secure mobile transaction capabilities.
The latest full set of mobile subscriber figures for all of South Africa's mobile operators relates to the end of March 2009. In the
three months ending March 31 2009, the total mobile customer base increased by 3.8% to surpass 51.9mn.
The market can be split into four distinct sectors: -
Urban Elite 3.5 million 8% Banked / Insured
Urban Middle Class 9.2 million 21% Banked/ Underinsured
Emerging Consumers 17.2 million 39% Unbanked / Uninsured
Rural Survivalists 11.4 million 26% Unbanked / Uninsured
The 'Emerging Consumers' and Rural Survivalists are MobiCash' target market.
They are: -
? 82% black;
? Live in rural or peri-urban areas;
? 60% of households own a cellular telephone (GHS 2005)
? Cellphones in use: 39.66 million (2006). A little over 70% of cell phone users do not have a land line at home
(AMPS2005RA and AMPS2003A)
The country's three cellular network operators - Vodacom, MTN and Cell C - provide telephony to over 50-million
subscribers or nearly 100% of the population. 85% of these are pre-paid.
Explain the 'Network Effect' of your business model
Network effects become significant after a certain subscription percentage has been achieved, called critical mass. At the
critical mass point, the value obtained from the good or service is greater than or equal to the price paid for the good or
service. As the value of the good is determined by the user base, this implies that after a certain number of people have
subscribed to the service or purchased the good, additional people will subscribe to the service or purchase the good due
to the positive 'utility:price' ratio.
A key business concern must then be how to attract users prior to reaching critical mass. MobiCash offers three ways to move
funds between MobiCash accounts: proximity transfers, remote transfers, and web-based transfers. MobiCash can be set up
so that receiving a P2P payment can serve to enroll new users automatically. This feature of the MobiCash mobile payment
system makes it highly viral. Scalable and Viral solution:
What is your expansion / growth strategy?
MobiCash is creating a fully meshed African Payment Network with points of presence (POP's) in all major African cities. A
fully operational Pan African Payment Network will allow African nations to link directly with each other, rather than having
to switch through one of the major US or European hubs.
MobiCash has already established a firm foothold in Africa and has or is finalizing licenses, joint venture agreements with in
country partners in Africa and the rest of the world.
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 21
accessible from one end of the country to the
Q:Could you provide a brief overview of the other - a laptop bank. Since FrontlineSMS:Credit
organization and your role and responsibilities in is being designed to run over existing mobile
it? payment networks, however, it will only work
where those networks already exist.
A:FrontlineSMS:Credit was founded to help
organizations more readily utilize and integrate Q:How does the process work, and what are
mobile payments in to their core management the main benefits for MFIs and loan recipients?
systems. From making it easier to send mobile
payments en masse for payroll purposes to
automating the micro-loan repayment process
A: Today, any user within an existing mobile
over the mobile network, we aim to provide a free payment network can send loans and payments
& open source solution anyone can use to issue via their handset. We hear numerous cases,
mobile financial services with the same robust though, of groups spending the entire day to pay
data management as a large institution. large workforces over the mobile payment
network. By meshing the group messaging
As Executive Director, my primary responsibility is functionality of FrontlineSMS with whichever
to ensure that tasks are properly delegated mobile payment system an organization uses,
throughout the FrontlineSMS:Credit team. By that organization will be able to distribute
encouraging our staff to innovate and bring their payments en masse in a matter of minutes. Also,
own systems and solutions to fruition, I also aim every payment will be automatically attached to a
to make the FrontlineSMS:Credit community both worker or client profile based on their phone
positive and proactive. number, which FrontlineSMS already makes
possible (e.g. if you click a user # in
Q:What inspired the Laptop Bank slogan? FrontlineSMS, you can see every message sent
to and received from that user).
A:When finished, FrontlineSMS:Credit will allow Bill Gates writes that "The first rule of any
any mobile payment system to communicate with technology used in a business is that automation
any microfinance management information applied to an efficient operation will magnify the
system (MIS) and visa versa. Accordingly, operation." By expediting the payment process
implementing MFIs will be able to distribute a full and automating data management,
range of financial services via simple text
FrontlineSMS:Credit will allow implementing
message, making the banking services they
institutions to commit their time to more valuable
provide from their central computer equally
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 23
tasks, like seeking greater loan portfolios or
reinvesting costs saved from automation.
Q: You have an impressive board membership.
What did you looked out for in them and how
where you able to bring on board such
Q: FrontlineSMS is very popular and credible in
Africa. what inspired the coming together of
FrontlineSMS and CreditSMS to emerge as Our selection process was designed to find
frontlineSMS:Credit? passionate, knowledgeable and respected
individuals across a range of industries.
A: FrontlineSMS is popular precisely because it Currently, our board is comprised of experts in
microfinance, insurance, international politics,
offers an intuitive, low-tech solution to a range of
complex problems. I initially chose FrontlineSMS mobile payments, information communication
as the base platform for CreditSMS for the same technology, mobile innovation, and healthcare.
reason. We decided to officially join Together, they help FrontlineSMS:Credit
FrontlineSMS as FrontlineSMS:Credit to signal to anticipate and pro-actively respond to industry
potential users that we embrace the same developments and guide our direction.
principles of openness and practicality. More fundamentally, I think we were able to
attract such well-known figures because our
Q:What type of impact has FrontlineSMS:Credit mission is to help bring financial inclusion to
had thus far, and what does the future hold for the every corner of the world. The thought itself is
organization? energizing and, happily, resonates with virtually
everyone I meet.
A: We still have several months of coding left
before the beta version of our software will be Q: What should Africans watch out in coming
available. Once available, we anticipate it will months and years?
allow MFIs to more readily leverage mobile
payment systems to lower operational costs, A: The mobile money space in Africa is
increase geographic impact and lower interest progressing at an exponential pace. Since an
rates commensurate with the amount saved entirely new technology could be sweeping the
during loan distribution and collection. In the continent in five years, it's difficult to tell where
future, we aim to facilitate increasingly complex FrontlineSMS:Credit will be. Nevertheless, we
financial services via local mobile payment plan to follow developments in the space closely
networks. and continuously provide free & open source
In terms of upfront capital spending for MFI's in solutions to leverage available technologies for
Africa,what will the cost structure be for MFI's financial inclusion.
FrontlineSMS:Credit is being developed as a free Q: Agent Networks or representatives in Africa
& open source solution, so no one will ever have already?
to pay for the software. In order to use it, Our chief programmers live in Nairobi and we
however, implementers will need to plug in to a have several beta partners lined up across the
mobile payment network and put m-money into continent. Otherwise, our team comes from all
their m-wallet. over: Canada, United Kingdom, Argentina & the
That cost, however, is relatively insignificant given United States. We hope to expand our presence
the fact that automating a range of transactions in Africa as quickly as possible, however, and are
and executing them over the mobile payment always happy to discuss potential ways to partner
network will significantly cut operational costs. In and collaborate.
other words, by investing in the ability to leverage
mobile payments, implementing institutions will
be able to both save money and increase
revenue. Everything boils down to opportunity
costs: If you pay X workers X
dollars/shillings/francs to travel X kilometers "Ben Lyon is the Founder and
every day, you can't use that money for other Executive Director of
purposes. Conversely, if one worker in front of a FrontlineSMS:Credit. He
graduated from Rhodes
computer pays X workers simultaneously and
College, where he majored in
instantly over the mobile network, you save the Economics and International
costs of time, transportation and staff salary, Studies with a focus on microfinance and informal
which you can reinvest in revenue-generating economics. Ben lives in Washington, DC."
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 24
Hannes van Rensburg
What is the genesis of millions that are left The financial institutions are slow on the mobile
behind, all across Africa from formal financial segment, is this deliberate strategy or they are
inclusion? still coming to terms with the mobile channel?
In a world where money influences almost To the contrary, many banks have moved fast. In
everything that we do, the majority of people living some instances banks are leading the way in using
in Africa do not have access to basic financial mobile technology to bank the un- (or under-)
services. This means that they are locked into the banked. As an example, Standard Bank in South
constraints of a cash economy. It is extremely Africa use Fundamo technology through a
difficult for these people to budget and plan their dedicated division (called Community Banking) to
finances effectively, to save in a secure way, to open bank accounts for people through retail
send mony cost-effectively and instantly etc. If we outlets and this seems to be very popular. In other
do not solve this, the majority of people living in countries (like Nigeria and Zambia) we are also
Africa will remain disenfranchised. An efficient, seeing a lot of activity and actions from banks. (both
electronic money system is essential in order to small and large).
defeat poverty on the continent. MTN and Fundamo relationship.
How Can mobile technology help? MTN contracted Fundamo as a strategic supplier
Mobile telephony provides the ideal infrastructure for the group to deploy MobileMoney (their financial
to deliver an electronic money system to millions services brand) in all of the 21 countries where
because of the following reasons. It is almost MTN operate in an aggressive roll-out plan. This
ubiquitous (at least for areas where we have roll-out is on track and is probably one of the more
economic activity), the capital has already been ambitious roll-out projects on a Group basis in the
spent to deploy the infrastructure, it is intuitive to world. The solution has been deployed in the
use and it can deliver extremely secure solutions. majority of countries and is in active production in a
number of these. As far as I am aware, few
Specifically, How can Fundamo's technology companies (if any) have the capacity and
help? experience to tackle such an ambitious project and
Fundamo brings more than ten years of experience we are thankful that MTN chose us for this project.
with multiple deployments in Africa (as well as Roll out status in Africa.
many others globally) to help resolve issues and
overcome challenges. Our expertise and Fundamo technology has now been deployed, or is
technology have been tested in complex in the process of being deployed in 25 African
production situations and our technology is countries. The technology is operated under
recognized as the leading platform with which to various brands and with different business models.
deploy these kinds of systems. We also have an Sometimes our clients are mobile operators and
approach of collaboration where we work with local sometimes banks, but all of them can be assured of
companies as well as large multi-national best of breed technology, high caliber of support
technology companies (like Accenture and Sun) to and ongoing innovation.
ensure that we have more comprehensive
Do you see active participation of mobile
operators in banking the unbanked in Africa?
Many mobile operators have successfully deployed
solutions and established business units to bring
banking services to the unbanked. Many more
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 26
Factor Shaka Mobile is a niche market wireless telecom Eco-system
targeting Diaspora Africans with Mobile Money and
Voice services to their home country. Shaka Mobile will Our eco-system and technology comprise of the
launch services in the US in the first quarter of 2010. following:
Mobile Money Services 1. Voice – nationwide GSM coverage in the US.
2. Mobile Money Transfer – robust mobile money
1. Mobile Money Transfer – P2P (person to platform that consists of a mobile wallet, bill pay option
person), C2B (consumer to business) from the handset and airtime topup function.
to home country 3. Pre-paid Visa Card Program – twin pre-paid visa
2. Bill Pay – ability to pay for bills back home card that will be tied to the mobile wallet. A Diaspora
3. Airtime topup – ability to pay for airtime topup for African can send one card home. They can move
friends and relatives back home on any network in real money in real time to their visa cards from the mobile
4. Twin pre-paid visa card – we will have two visa 4. Banking – we are able to integrate to banks
cards linked to a mobile wallet. The diaspora client can which will allow customers to link their accounts to their
move money in real time between the cards. This mobile wallet for topup.
program is regulatory compliant.
Shaka Mobile plans to expand to the UK and other
1. Fave 1 – unlimited US, unlimited in-network and lucrative expatriate markets with high numbers of
unlimited calling to one number on any network to home Africans. We are looking to grow our eco-system with
country $45 per month partners in the telecom, banking and distribution space.
2. Fave 2 – unlimited US, unlimited in-network and We encourage interested partners to contact us for
unlimited calling to two numbers on any network to potential synergy. We will continue to scale our services
home country $50 per month with relevant value added services that meet the needs
3. Fave 3 – unlimited US, unlimited in-network an of Diaspora Africans.
unlimited calling to three numbers on any network to
home country $55 per month
4. Fave 4 – unlimited US, unlimited in-network and
unlimited calling to four numbers on any network to Dhidha J. Timona
home country $60 per month dtimona@Shakamobile.com
5. Fave 5 – unlimited US, unlimited in-network and
unlimited calling to five numbers on any network to
home country $65 per month
Lessons from Phillipines
by John Owens
Please share with Africans your experiences in the their phone, open a bank account, and do just about
Philippines Micro Finance sector? everything that you can do on the internet or
I have been working in the microfinance sector in through an ATM or POS through their mobile
the Philippines for the past ten years, before that I phone. Given that a mobile phone can be a debit
spent two years in Bolivia and also worked for nine card as well as a functioning POS, entrepreneurs of
years in Jamaica in the field of microfinance. Over all sizes can now buy and sell products, pay
the past ten years, I have worked closely with the salaries to workers, and make bank transactions
rural banking sector in the Philippines which is now remotely through their mobile phone.
one of the largest providers of microfinance Globe Telecom's Gcash has helped integrate
services in the country managing more than 1.5 Millions into formal Financial Inclusion.How is it
million borrowers (over 800,000 of these borrowers benefiting the Micro Finance enterprises?
are classified as microenterprise borrowers with Globe Telecom's e-money issuer, G-Xchange has
the rest being small farmers, low income salary created a wonderful mobile money platform that,
loan clients, and small businesses) and more than when linked to a small bank, credit cooperative, or
6 million deposit accounts (over 5.3 million are microfinance institution can provide powerful
micro deposit accounts with balances of less than access to financial services including deposits,
$300). To read more about the history of rural loans, payments, money transfer services, etc. To
banks in microfinance, please see the attached learn more about how rural banks are using mobile
article I wrote for the ADB a couple of years ago. money and the GCASH platform in particular to
expand access to banking services, feel free to
Over the past ten years, my team has also c h e c k o u t o u r w e b s i t e a t
coordinated closely with the Microfinance Council www.mobilephonebanking.org or the videos at
of the Philippines and the Philippine Central Bank www.youtube.com/rbapmabs
as the field of microfinance has moved to one of
becoming much more commercial and integrated Drawing from your experiences, do you think
within the financial sector as a whole. Microfinance Mobile technology can benefit Micro Finance
in the Philippines is now much broader than it was Enterprises in Africa where Millions own Mobile
10 years ago encompassing new financial products Phones but yet without a Bnak account?
and services that include new approaches to Mobile Money offers tremendous opportunities for
reaching out to small farmers, housing small entrepreneurs to send and receive money
microfinance, microinsurance, and more recently, and we can see this happening in Kenya with M-
micro remittances, domestic transfers, mobile Pesa and beginning to happen with others around
money, mobile phone banking and mobile the region. While mobile money is like a pre-paid
commerce services. debit account that can be used to send and receive
What are the major Challenges and are the money; in order to expand greater access to
conditions similar to what we have in Africa? financial services such as regulated bank
accounts, access to credit, payments including
The major challenges are still to reach out to utility and bill payments, as well as buying and
millions of potential clients with limited access to selling goods and services, it is important to link
banking services and to do so in a more cost mobile money accounts to products and services
effective manner than we have been able to do so in offered by small financial institutions including rural
the past. This is where mobile money and mobile or community banks, credit cooperatives, and
phone banking can come into play. microfinance NGOs. I think the important thing to
What can entrepreneurs learn from MABS stress is that to expand access to full financial
experiences in the Philippines? services, there is the need for collaboration
Entrepreneurs are learning that rural banks can between mobile money issuers and banks and
provide a broader range of financial services. In other financial players, especially those that have
terms of mobile money and greater access to successfully provided access to financial services
banking services, clients are now able to register for microentreprenuers and low income
households. While mobile money issuers have
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 29
tremendous potential to provide outreach to
anyone with a phone, they cannot provide greater
access to credit or offer full deposit services (other
than a simple limited mobile money transactional
account). For this to happen, we need to see
collaboration between the all the players.
Fortunately, this is beginning to happen in several
On a Final Note, how can technology Benefit
African Micro Finance Enterprises in Africa?
As I mentioned above, the important thing is for
financial players, whether they be commercial,
rural, or community banks, credit cooperatives, or November 10,2009
MFI NGOs to understand the tremendous potential Canada
of mobile money and begin to collaborate closely www.mobilemoneycanada.com
with proper regulated Mobile Money issuers to
explore how mobile money can be used to expand
greater access and reach out to more clients than
has ever been possible before. I am not sure where
players like Equity Bank are with their mobile phone
banking initiative but I would encourage them to
look at ways to collaborate and make use of mobile
money platforms like Safaricom (M-Pesa) and
other mobile money players to create greater Wednesday, 24th February 2010 -
access to financial services. The combination of Friday, 26th February 2010
institutions like Equity Bank and Safaricom (M- Lagos, Nigeria
Pesa) would provide true access to banking www.Bspmediagroup.com
services to millions more people than either
institution could do on its own. This kind of
collaboration with networks of MFIs and Mobile
Money Issuers could really expand access to
financial services in Africa and I expect it will
happen. See some of the articles I prepared earlier
this year with MicroSave to learn a bit more about
Banking & Mobile Payments East Africa, 2010
24-25 February 2010
the Kenyatta International Conference Centre
(KICC) Nairobi, Kenya
JOHN V. OWENS
Chief of Party
Microenterprise Access to Banking
Services G/F RBAP Bldg.
A. Soriano Ave. Cor. Arzobispo St. Date: June 2010
Intramuros, Manila, Philippines Location: TBC
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 30
banked. Organizations, local governments and
(micro)finance institutions can make use of the
platform to connect with low-income and isolated
clients through POS devices and mobile phones.
What does the STRO organization do?
What are its objectives?
The Social TRade Organizations STRO is a
group of foundations that are involved with Micro
Credit and trade networks based on internal
currencies. The first STRO was founded in 1970
in the Netherlands and has been mostly active in
Europe and Latin America. STRO usually works
with local partner organizations on financial
solutions that stimulate local development and
create new possibilities for small and medium
The hart of the Social Trade approach is that
money entering poor region should circulate
some times before leaving the area for imports
from rich areas, in order to organize the local
Share with Africans your Background and economy, create employment and business
about Cyclos opportunities. From this point of view it is
I am working for the organization STRO (Social important to prevent purchasing power leaving
TRade Organization) and responsible for the the poor regions because of interest payments or
open source on-line banking software Cyclos. services/solutions that could have been delivered
Cyclos is being developed by two teams of in the community itself. The development and
programmers, one in Brazil and one in Uruguay. high availability of new technologies offered an
The objective of the project is to develop open opportunity to achieve these goals.
source banking software that is easy to use and STRO picks up the challenge described by Bank
maintain, flexible, secure, and highly of England's governor Mervyn King:
customizable. The project was started in 2003 “Is it possible that advances in technology will
and is currently used by more than hundred mean that (...) the world may come to resemble a
organizations. The software is available in eight pure exchange economy? Electronic transactions
languages and more translations are being in real time hold out that possibility. There is no
worked on. reason, in principle, why final settlements could
The base of Cyclos is a banking system but it has not be carried out by the private sector without
several additional modules like e-commerce, loan the need for clearing through the central bank.
administration and various community modules (...) There is no conceptual obstacle to the idea
like internal messaging, referrals and a that two individuals engaged in a transaction
notification system. The platform offers currently could settle by a transfer of wealth from one
a large range of financial operations such as electronic account to another in real time. (...) The
(micro) payments, installments, checking same system could match demands and supplies
balances, monitoring transactions, micro finance of financial assets, determine prices and make
handling, remittance handling and payment of settlements. Financial assets and real goods and
both salaries and bills. The system is designed to services would be priced in terms of a unit of
handle businesses-to-business as well as account. Final settlement could be made without
consumer-to-businesses and person-to-person any recourse to the central bank.(...) Without
operations. such a role in settlements, central banks, in their
All services are available via Web access and present form, would no longer exist(...).
mobile phone (WAP1/2). Over the last years it
became clear that "low level" access channels In what ways does STRO carry out
where needed. During the last two years we have these objectives?
been working on mobile (delivery) access
channels such as SMS and POS (Point of Sale), Social trade promotes the opportunity for
enabling an integrated mobile banking solution. communities to optimize the circulation of
purchasing power in their community or region.
The mobile access channels will be ideally suited Using the Social Trade methods the potential of
to provide financial services in remote areas the community can be optimized based on the
(rural banking) as well as serving the un(der)- community's culture with respect for the
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 31
environment. Through research STRO has module. Users can publish offers and wants for
developed and tested pilot projects in various products and services and search within market
countries. This resulted in a range of instruments place page. The e-commerce module is also
and practical approaches that are available to integrated with the access channels. For example
support private or public initiatives that want to a member can register an "interest" for a specific
stimulate local economies. product or service and define criteria like location
One of the economic models that proved to be and price. When another member of the network
successful is the C3 (commerce and commerce publishes a service or product that matches the
circuit) model. A C3 is a trade network build on a criteria of the interest, the person that registered
democratic structure where the members the interest will receive an instant notification.
(consumers and businesses) have access to low Members themselves can define if they want to
cost loans and a range of commerce and receive the notification as internal message, e-
communication tools. mail or SMS. In case of SMS notifications the
costs can be charged automatically to the
Tell us more about the software of receiver account. Other types of notifications are
Cyclos and how it can benefit Africans also available. For example financial notifications
One of the main objectives was to provide a such as reminders on expired loan repayment
platform that allows a company or organization to dates or the approval of new loans.
operate the system with minimal manual work. There are various ways Africans could benefit
This is achieved by automatic tasks, a clear from the Cyclos platform. Local governments can
group based structure and close integration of all reinforce the community's economy offering new
modules. A payment system build on Cyclos does forms of credit and payment services. Micro
not have to depend on the services of a single finance institutions (MFI's) could enlarge their
telecommunication provider and in case of outreach. Local businesses that receive (digital)
currency backed systems it is possible to have payments from clients with micro credits can use
partnerships with more than one bank. No the digital currency to trade with other companies
specific hardware is needed and all in the network. This way the available funds can
communication is handled by standard protocols generate more local economic activity than within
what will facilitate the implementation and roll out conventional micro finance programs. STRO
of the system. developed various innovative models to increase
The Cyclos system is build on a modular the leverage of financial funds that are available
structure what offers flexibility. An organization for credit.
can just enable the components based on But in principal any organization or institute that
services it wants to provide. Cyclos comes with offers payment services can make use of the
default configurations for most common monetary platform (for example campus payment systems,
models but it is possible to setup a new system consumer liability program, credit unions).
from scratch. It is always possible to add new
services at a later stage without having to change Why did you choose to publish the
the existing structure. For example, an on-line software open source?
banking system can be extended with SMS and The STRO organization tries to bring the
credit/debit card payment services. emission of money and credit back to the
communities. This is much in line with the Open
Source philosophy and therefore open source
Cyclos has various access channels that connect was a logical choice. Today few independent
to the same a real-time (on-line) transaction mobile banking providers exist. We think an open
system. This means, for example, that loans and source approach will contribute to better access
micro credits that are granted via the Web and greater diversity of financial services. Also,
interface will be directly available to clients via all open source software in general offers better
channels (if enabled). The access channels are integration with third party products.
all integrated part of the platform and allow
internal routing. For example, a business or loan
agent can send a payment request via web To be continued.
access and this request can be routed
automatically to the SMS channel. Meanwhile the
client would need to confirm the request with an
SMS reply and PIN, the business can follow-up
the status of the payment requests on-line at the
A powerful feature in Cyclos is the e-commerce
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 32
WASHINGTON DC & DENVER, October 30,
2009— Sixty finalists for the African Diaspora
Marketplace (ADM), with proposals representing
more than $22 million of Diaspora business
investment to spur job creation in their native
African Diaspora Marketplace countries, were announced today by Western
Announces 60 Finalists; Entrepreneurial Union and the United States Agency for
Proposals Collectively Represent More International Development (USAID).
Than $22 Million In Diaspora Investment
in African Communities The ADM is a business entrepreneur program that
has catalyzed economic development plans from
U.S.-based African Diaspora to help 19 countries in
Sub-Saharan Africa, through collaboration
between Western Union and USAID.
”The finalists of the ADM competition represent the
best of a new class of entrepreneur – those who are
investing back in their home countries to create
economic opportunity and reduce poverty and
unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Alonzo
Fulgham, Acting USAID Administrator. “USAID is
proud to be a part of this innovative program that
leverages the resources of Western Union and its
Agents, Diaspora communities, and local partners
in Africa to support these entrepreneurs.”
”The business leaders selected here understand
the challenges facing their native countries, and
they have identified solutions that work,” said Anne
McCarthy, Executive Vice President of Corporate
Affairs, Western Union. “Our finalists have market-
appropriate proposals that could sustain job growth
and spark new business start-ups benefiting Sub-
The finalists were chosen from a pool of 733
applicants by an independent panel of volunteer
judges from business, non-governmental
organizations, Diaspora development
organizations and academia. They represent 14
countries and a range of business plans – from agri-
business such as food oil processing and fish
farming to healthcare and IT service providers.
From this group of finalists, between 10-20 winners
will be announced in mid-January 2010 at an event
to be held at the Academy for Educational
Development (AED). The ADM program will award
matching grants for program winners of between
The ADM is funded jointly by USAID, The Western
Union Company, and the Western Union
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 35
Foundation, as well as through Western Union Through Western Union's Our World, Our Family®
Agent Giving Circles featuring Ecobank signature program, the Western Union Foundation
Transnational Incorporated (ETI) in Africa and Irv supports initiatives to empower individuals, families
Barr Management in the United States. Any and communities through access to better
organization interested in an opportunity with the education and economic opportunity. Recognized
ADM should direct messages to by the Committee Encouraging Corporate
firstname.lastname@example.org. Philanthropy in 2009, the program is a five year,
$50 million commitment reflecting the efforts made
by Western Union employees, Agents, and
For a list of the ADM finalists as well as information partners around the world. Since its inception, the
on starting a business, visit Western Union Foundation has awarded almost
www.diasporamarketplace.org. $55 million in grants and disaster relief to over
1,870 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in
100 countries. For more information, visit
USAID is the lead government agency providing About Ecobank (www.ecobank.com)
development and humanitarian assistance to
I n c o r p o r a t e d i n L o m e , To g o , E c o b a n k
people around the world. The agency's Global
Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent
Development Alliance (GDA) links U.S. foreign
company of the leading independent regional
assistance with the resources, expertise and
banking group in Africa. It currently operates in 28
creativity of the private sector as well as
African countries, namely: Benin, Burkina-Faso,
nongovernmental organizations. Since its launch in
Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African
2001, the Global Development Alliance has
Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Côte d'Ivoire,
changed the way U.S. international development
Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia,
projects are financed and implemented. By
Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia,
cultivating more than 900 public-private alliances
Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome
with over 1,700 individual partners, it has allowed
and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo,
USAID to leverage an additional $9.6 billion in
Uganda and Zambia. The group is also
resources for development. For more information
represented in France through its affiliate EBI S.A.
about USAID and its programs around the world
in Paris. ETI also has a presence in Tanzania and
visit www.usaid.gov. For more information on
in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where it holds
Global Development Alliances visit
licenses but is not yet operational.
ETI is listed on the stock exchanges in Lagos, Accra
and the West African Economic and Monetary
About the Western Union Company Union (UEMOA) – the BRVM. The Group is owned
by more than 180,000 local and international
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a institutional and individual shareholders. It has over
leader in global payment services. Together with its 11,000 employees from 29 different countries in
Vigo, Orlandi Valuta and Pago Facil branded over 700 branches. Ecobank is a full-service bank
payment services, Western Union provides providing wholesale, retail, investment and
consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways transaction banking services and products to
to send and receive money around the world, as governments, financial institutions, multinationals,
well as send payments and purchase money international organizations, medium, small and
orders. Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta micro businesses and individuals
operate through a combined network of more than
400,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and
territories. In 2008, The Western Union Company
completed 188 million consumer-to-consumer
transactions worldwide, moving $74 billion of
principal between consumers, and 412 million
consumer-to-business transactions. For more
information, visit www.westernunion.com.
For More Information Contact:
Lisa McConnell, Western Union, +27 11 549 3310,
Gina Jackson, USAID, 202-712-1917, email@example.com
About the Western Union Foundation Abou Kone, Ecobank, +228 221 03 03, firstname.lastname@example.org
www.mobilemoneyafrica.com NOVEMBER 2009 | 36
THANK YOU FOR
Number One IN