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Mobile money transfers soar in Africa, Report

June 22, 2021

Flutterwave, ChipperCash, Interswitch, Paga and OPay are five African financial technology (fintech) startups that are now being identified as unicorns by investors, the business media and analysts following the surge of mobile payments.

A recent GSMA report reveals that there are 1.2 billion registered global mobile money accounts. 560 million of these registered accounts are in Africa. The GSMA, which represents mobile network firms, states that “Sub-Saharan Africa has been at the forefront of the mobile money industry for over a decade, and in 2020 continued to account for the majority of growth.

Flutterwave achieved a valuation of $1-billion in March 2021 after closing a funding round of $170-million. Meanwhile, Chipper Cash received an investment of $100-million in June 2021 from Jeff Bezos’ personal venture capital fund. Interswitch, Paga and OPay also received recent investments that valued them at over $1-billion earning them the name of the mythical horned beast that is the moniker of such unusually large valuations.

Convenience, security and trust are fuelling the seismic wave of mobile transactions together with the pervasive penetration of affordable mobile feature phones on the continent. Cash used to be king in Africa but handling and banking money has become riskier, which is why traders, entrepreneurs and consumers alike are going mobile.

Analysts say that by 2025 the African mobile market is expected to have 850 million customers who drive $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion in transaction volumes annually. A key driver in the surge of mobile payments is the increasing affordability of mobile phones in Africa. A case in point is TECNO Mobile which is owned by TRANSSION and which knocked Korean giant Samsung off the top spot for handset sales in Africa in 2020.

Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor reveals that itel, a TRANSSION Holdings brand, owns the top position in the global and African feature phone market.

By recognising the importance of keeping costs down with its latest devices and by understanding the need of Africa’s youth population to have access to affordable phones that offer the same features as higher-end flagship models, TRANSSION has seen its brand itel lauded. Itel was ranked at position number 21 amongst the 2021 TOP 100 MOST ADMIRED BRANDS IN AFRICA released by the well-known pan-African business magazine African Business.

This was achieved off the back of really understanding what millennials and Gen-Z customers want from a phone. itel is a budget-friendly and reliable mobile phone brand that is positioned on asking 16 to 25 year olds to ‘Enjoy Better Life’. Part of this enjoyment means having access to connection, technology and the ability to trade globally.

Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor reveals that itel, a TRANSSION Holdings brand, owns the top position in the global and African feature phone market.

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