Africa has been a world leader in mobile payments; Kenya’s M-Pesa launched in 2007 and has since expanded to several other countries. The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants.
“From the customer’s point of view, this means ‘I can pay or receive money anywhere from my mobile account regardless of my operator’. The system will unlock further innovation in the digital financial space within the continent,” the mobile operators said in their announcement.
“By providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa,” said Stéphane Richard, chairman & CEO of Orange. “Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities.”
Rob Shuter, group president and CEO of MTN, said the partnership with Orange helps MTN play a role in supporting the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
“Co-operation and partnerships help us accelerate the pace of development and overcome some of the scale, scope and complexity of challenges that society faces.”
“Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across Africa, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities,” said Mats Granryd, director general of GSMA, which represents the interests of more than 750 mobile operators around the world and their hardware and software suppliers. The creation of Mowali will help to further transform mobile financial services throughout the African region.”