The mobile phone is the bank of choice in Africa

The mobile phone is the bank of choice in Africa

Photo: F. Coupet for Mercy Corps
Photo: F. Coupet for Mercy Corps

A new Gallup Poll from Sub-Saharan Africa shows that the mobile phone is the most popular way to transfer money in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

In South Africa, a more developed banking market, only two percent of respondents said they had used a phone to transfer money within the 30 days prior to the survey, whereas 33 percent transferred money using a bank. In contrast, only one percent of those surveyed in Uganda had transferred money by bank, while 43 percent had used a phone.

More than twice as many rural respondents used mobile phones to send remittances than urban dwellers, who typically have access to brick and mortar banks, showing the potential of mobile to reach far-flung villages with financial services.

In all sub-Saharan African nations surveyed, at least six in 10 adults who only made informal cash payments...did have access to a mobile phone, indicating there is potential for mobile money to expand to this underserved segment.

Read the full report, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, here.

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