Time is right for Africa to embrace mobile payment technology


Value Added Sales at ZunguZ joined a panel of ICT industry experts at AfricaCom 2012, a premier ICT and telecommunications conference held recently in Cape Town, to discuss the topic: How to take advantage of new opportunities in Africa?s dynamic mobile money market.

The panel included Martin Ras, Co-Founder of Ching Payments, Samson Isa, Head of Value Added Services, Globacom, and Grant van Wyk, Head of Mobile Design and Development, Pbel.

Steyn represented ZunguZ, a multi-tier mobile payment platform and established offering connected to Facebook that has taken the South African and African markets by storm.

He joined keynote speakers and explained why now is the time for developing markets across Africa to better understand and benefit from the convergence of payment systems and relevant technology with the social graph.

The point of contact between financial services and social networks facilitated by mobile money platforms is a high-growth market across the global ICT sector - and Africa has a role to play.

Steyn said the continent has a very strong, growing mobile user base that is well-acquainted with social networks. "There are many cases of mobile users not having access to email, but they have Facebook to connect their friends.

This is the same market that has explosive needs to payment and banking services and the next growth market for smart phone technology.

These are the three areas that ZunguZ connects. Africa?s mobile penetration continues to escalate, with user figures in excess of 700 million. Access to personal financial management through secure, cost-free platforms makes sense,' he commented.

"The panel discussion was vibrant and of great interest because it covered a number of aspects of the mobile money market that people want to know more about.

These aspects include partnerships between operators and financial institutions, as well as new services being rolled out that add value to consumers and that continue to shape the industry across Africa.'

ZunguZ is tightly integrated into Facebook and was one of the first African published social payment applications to be officially incorporated into the social network giant?s app store.

Management at ZunguZ says there is consensus in the industry that the growth of mobile payment technology will help drive development within the financial sectors of regions throughout Africa.