Uganda and a growing list of other African countries are currently adopting the use of mobile money at a world-leading pace. In fact, according to a report issued by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than 50% of the world’s mobile money deployments. In Uganda, more than 40% of the adult population currently uses mobile money on a regular basis.
Ugandans are Paying Bills, Borrowing, and Transferring Funds Using Mobile Money Apps
According to a leading UK-based payday lender Readies, some Ugandans are using mobile money technology to take out bad credit payday loans online. This form of digital borrowing is opening up countless funding opportunities for individuals who might otherwise have no access to traditional borrowing means through a local financial institution. Providing access to the global borrowing market is one way that mobile money is changing the face of personal finance for Ugandans. Of course, utility companies and other service providers have made it easy for people to pay bills using mobile money, and a number of money transferring services also offer mobile money transfer capabilities in many African countries.
Providing Widespread Financial Inclusion to the Region
Historically, Uganda and many other African countries have had largely unbanked populations, with poverty and rural landscapes preventing the establishment of local banks. With mobile money adoption growing by a remarkable 27% each year, the industry is bringing an estimated $500 million in revenue to the Sub-Saharan region annually. The growth of the sector is also providing earning opportunities for commission-based agents and affiliates who advertise and promote the use of mobile money apps and services, as this job has created an entirely new industry within itself.
Empowering the Spread of Solar Power
Another interesting way mobile money is helping the people of Uganda is through the enhanced spread of solar power. More than a half a million solar kits were bought and paid for using mobile money within East Africa in 2017 alone. While such figures aren’t available for Uganda, the ability to pay for solar kits and installation services using mobile money has undoubtedly led to an increased adoption of solar power in the region. Likewise, utility providers are finding it easier to boost their bill collection success rates by providing incentives for opting into mobile pay agreements.
Accelerating the Surge Towards Better Mobile Data Coverage
Despite the impressive growth seen in Africa’s mobile money industry, data coverage for the continent is still at roughly 16%. In Uganda, only about 13% of the population have an active internet connection, however actual usage is estimated to be closer to 50% due to Wi-Fi hotspots and sparse mobile network coverage.
With mobile money becoming increasingly common throughout Africa, it only makes sense that mobile network providers will look to expand their coverage in the continent to let more of the population get involved. As a result, many analysts and experts have predicted that Uganda and other African countries should see ten-fold improvements in mobile coverage during the next decade.