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Mobile Payment Systems in Africa

A frica boasts of some of the fastest developing economies of the world, and just as the economy is experiencing a real growth, systems of doing business and paying for services have also continued to improve. Mobile payment is also known as mobile money or mobile money transfer, and it is defined as any transaction that is carried out with the aid of mobile devices. Modern technology is leading us towards a cashless future, and mobile payments are leading the charge. I will share 6 of the best and most popular mobile payment systems in Africa with you. Come along as I introduce the first of them, Google Wallet.

  1. Google Wallet


No doubt, this is the most popular of the payments systems we have in Africa. Boasting of over 500 million users across the African terrain, the Google Wallet delivers quality and easy payment solutions to all who may want to buy, sell, and even send money to their loved ones. In recent months, Google has adopted Intellectual Property from Softcard in a bid to better serve its users. Many have argued that this position will not be held for long, do you think so? Why have they concluded? This leads us to Google’s biggest challenger in the mobile payments industry—Apple Pay.

  1. Apple Pay


Apple Pay has earned its place in the second position due to its amazing and time saving service delivery. The Apple Pay was released together with the iPhone 6s in 2014, and it has comfortably challenged other mobile payment companies to be a leading force. All users with the iPhone 6s and later will be able to use the Apple Pay. Users who may have lower versions of the iPhone may get compatible Apple Watches, register credit or debit cards and then place their finger on the fingerprint scanner to authorize a purchase. In less than three years of its inception, it has been a challenger to the leading payment service provider. The Apple Pay hasn’t gone this far without any casualties, let’s see the biggest casualty—PayPal.


  1. PayPal


PayPal has had to be pushed off the top spot to the third spot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t to be accorded the respect it deserves. It is still the leader in Europe, America and even the Middle East, but in Africa, it has suffered a real dip in fortune. The setback was caused by PayPal’s security propelled decision not to allow some countries in Africa enter its good books, and when it was being cautious and slowly planning to look for better solutions, the likes of Apple and Google took the bull by the horns and got the lead. PayPal offers a unique mobile payment solution and users can add a credit or debit card to their accounts by simply snapping it. It is the preferred choice of its sister company eBay. PayPal has also integrated with Uber, StubHub and Airbnb.

  1. Square Cash


Even though it isn’t as popular as the leading three, Square Cash is a mobile payment solution that every African would like to use. The system allows users to create a username known as $Cashtag. The $Cashtag can be twitted to ask for donations and it can also be used to pay others.

  1. M-Pesa


It may not be popular in some countries in Africa, but it’s quite huge in Kenya. M-Pesa was launched in 2007 by Vodafone, and the company has designed M-Pesa to be used to withdraw funds, transfer money and make payments, all on mobile devices. The system doesn’t really need the internet as users can make payments and transfers by just sending texts.


  1. Samsung Pay


Our list will not be complete if we exclude Samsung pay. After buying LoopPay, Samsung decided to discard the Samsung Wallet for the Samsung Pay and it has also been able to embed a technology known as Magnetic Secure Transmission for purchases on all its new devices. The company had already made a name for itself, so after adding the Samsung Pay to its devices, it just needed some awareness programs, and off the Samsung Pay went.

Do you use any mobile payment system?  Why or why don’t you? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.




About John Adebimitan

John Adebimitan
I am a writer, a tester and a real tech freak. If you don’t find me at the local gadget show, then you will find me at the electronics stores or at the shipyards trying to get my hands on the latest gadgets in town. Join the ride? And I promise you will be the first to get eyes on that new techy stuff.

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