Vodacom's subsidiary in Tanzania hosted representatives form more than 8 African countries in Dar Es Salaam for their inaugural Mobile Money Policy Forum workshop. The aim of the workshop was to look into trends and developments shaping the mobile money industry across Africa.
Vodacom is arguably one of the more well-positioned companies as it, as well as its mother company, Vodafone Group, own the patent and rights to one of the world's most popular and successful mobile money services - M-Pesa.
“Our aim is to provide a platform for leading experts to express their views on trends and developments shaping the industry. The industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace with policy makers and regulators playing a central role in facilitating and enabling environment for financial inclusion,” said Judith Obholzer, Managing Executive, Legal and regulatory from Vodacom Group.
Future proofing mobile money
Obholzer further highlighted that Africa has witnessed rapid growth in mobile money operations and innovations enabling broad based participation and access to financial services. Further adding that the continent is home to the 10 economies worldwide where more adults now have mobile money accounts than at a financial institution.
Vodacom's event also saw the pan-African telecommunications company launch it "Future-Proofing Mobile Financial Services" report. The report, the first of Vodacom’s Public Policy Series, demonstrates how mobile money is driving economic growth and empowering lives through financial inclusion.
“The government is committed to ensure that mobile financial providers continue to be effective players in the future, and that they are able to provide the innovations and investments necessary in the technical and business dynamics in the financial payment market," said Albert Cesari, Representative of the Bank of Tanzania who is Assistant Manager–Oversight and Policy at the National Payment systems Department.
Africa's most successful mobile money service
There's no denying that mobile money, and especially M-Pesa, has been a game changer in East Africa. As Obholzer put it, mobile money services continued to drive economic growth and social benefit by providing access to financial services to the millions of people who have a mobile phone, but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account.
M-Pesa has been Africa's most successful mobile money service. Research illustrates that mobile money has significantly contributed to social empowerment, economic growth and poverty reduction. It provides people with a safe, secure and affordable way to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments, receive salaries and get a short-term loan.
“Mobile money – supported by extensive mobile reach – has proven to be a platform for economic opportunity, transforming the financial services landscape, in particular on the African continent. I am glad that this report brings together contributions by leading experts that speak to these three broader themes. They are diverse in their views and ambitions, critical and inspiring," said Hisham Hendi, Managing Director at Vodacom Tanzania.
The eventMobile Money Policy Forum 2019 event by Vodacom brought together representatives from mobile network operators and a cross section of sectors including Telecommunication, financial service providers, banking, and regulators who addressed various topics including: Future-proofing Mobile Financial Services, Enabling Interoperability Frameworks – Payment Systems, Regional Integration and Cross-Border Opportunities, How to solve the legal identity problem, Best Practice Sharing and The Cloud Opportunity – Getting the Conditions Right.