Mobile money is on the rise in Africa gaming ecosystem

It is well known fact that Africa is the continent with the highest unbanked population. Although many have seen this as a disadvantage, many individuals seen it as an opportunity, this has been pivotal to the growth of Mobile payments companies particularly the mobile money markets which has enabled millions of Africans send and receive money even without bank account.

However, further with the growth of online betting as increased the growth in mobile money service and has created new opportunities for merchants to sell their products and services. The fast growing sports betting sector which has taken a number of African countries by storm. What’s further spurred the growth is rapid internet penetration. Punters now have easy access to online sports betting service even in remote areas. Countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania are seeing a huge expansion in sports betting and other forms of gambling.

Betting on major European soccer leagues, as well as local and national teams, has become a multinational dollar industry. Much of this betting is done on mobile phones with reports showing that mobile platforms are now the preferred means of gambling.

This growth probably explain why half of the 300 million registered mobile money accounts are located in Africa, boosting of over 100 million active mobile money account ( used by 1/10 Adults) in the continent.

Furthermore, payments solution is a critical part of the gaming market for all online companies and it’s also becoming huge for retail brands. The need for cashless method of making payment has driven innovation in African payment space to compete with the rest of the world. Mobile money companies are now involved in the gaming sector via Payments, USSD Codes and even direct gaming partnership.

For instance in Kenya M-pesa the first mobile payment solution owned by Safaricom has shown the whole world how to run a mobile payment company. Moreover, according to the company report, the company boosts 37 million active customers across 7 countries in Africa namely, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.

M-pesa is well established in East Africa particularly in Kenya as the most popular payment solution for Kenyans bettors and accounted for 7% of M-pesa revenue for the fiscal year end in March 2019.

For instance, in Nigeria where there is Interswitch, GT Money, Airtel money and MTN that also offer mobile money service in other SSA countries, offering various payments solution for bettors in the gaming space. For instance, interswitch have gone a long way to create a model that allows operators and merchants to actively provide goods and services for customers via their platform. Another key for of payments is GTBank USSD codes were bettors fund their online account via short codes.

While in North Africa the payment space is very much controlled by French and Arabian companies because of a numbers of different factors. This means growth mimicks, what happens in France and places like UAE etc. a lot of advancement in mobile is a key indicator of the growth of mobile payments in North Africa. Legal Landscape of sportbetting for gaming specifically sports products in Africa is a lot more stable than you think from looking inwards.

Written by Adeleye Awakan

Associate/Editor Africa’s leading digital gaming magazine. For consultant on gaming in Africa, Marketing, PR, Advertising, and Thoughtful leadership article contact: [email protected]

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