Leading mobile payments provider Mi-Pay has signed a contract with an East African operator to deliver a mobile money ecosystem to its subscribers in rural communities.
Mi-Pay's technology and expertise will enable subscribers to benefit from international remittance services, as well as support a network of agents to support domestic payments via mobile.
Africa is vastly becoming a hotbed for mobile payment innovation, experiencing explosive growth in pre-paid subscribers. The African operator approached Mi-Pay as it wanted to implement an international money transfer scheme that would enable these subscribers to receive money via their mobile phones from friends and family living and working abroad.
"We're seeing huge demand from African mobile operators for mobile money transfer services," said Glen Jennison, Managing Director, Mi-Pay Middle East. "A vast number of Africans are now working abroad, particularly in the Middle East. Our technology provides these people with a cheap, secure and convenient means to send money to friends and family back home."
Mi-Pay's portfolio of mobile payments services is available to African operators to help them further monetise their existing prepaid networks. Mi-Pay also provides a service that enables third parties to buy pre-paid airtime and send that airtime to subscribers in Africa enabling them to make calls, and extend the value of their mobile phones. This service provides added value to operators, increases ARPU and reduces churn.
Mi-Pay's direct channel top-up services enables African subscribers to obtain airtime directly via their handsets, negating the need for physical vouchers that can often be difficult to obtain in remote communities.
Its Streetvendor solution even enables African mobile operators to grow entrepreneurial networks by empowering local agents in Africa to buy and sell airtime to African subscribers. Mi-Pay's Streetvendor enables these agents to complete transactions straight from a mobile handset, without the need for additional terminals.
"Pre-paid airtime has the potential to become an African currency in its own right," argues Mi-Pay CEaay CEO, Norman Frankel. "Africa has a largely cash based economy, with large parts of the population not familiar with payment cards. All they are looking for is a means to share cash, through a means that they know and trust. The mobile phone is the perfect medium in this instance as the devices continue to emerge as the most sought after devices across the continent."