Mobile financial services (MFS) have huge potential in Africa, where a mere 24% of the population has a bank account but 75% have a mobile phone. Globally in 2012, 41 mobile money services were launched, and m-money deployments will keep growing, with 43% of the forecast worldwide deployments located in sub-Saharan countries. Operators have been developing different strategies to address the MFS market space: One strategy is to deploy services sequentially in each country, with the type of services rolled out determined for all countries by the same road map. This has some risks, however. Another strategy is to configure each service deployment to suit the specific country. A number of factors determine which deployment strategy operators should pursue. To delve deeper into the choices facing operators, this Insider presents case studies of two operators, MTN (with its Mobile Money m-money service) and Orange (with Orange Money), and how they approach the mobile financial services opportunity, looking in particular at deployments across their African affiliates. The Insider concludes with some recommendations.
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