African Retailers And Mobile Money

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On the 31st of December last year while returning from church, I decided to buy some items I needed for cooking the next day but I had no physical cash on me, just my phone. I entered a grocery shop, picked up my items and headed towards the counter to pay. I offered to pay through mobile money, only to be told by the attendant that she only takes physical cash.

Guess what happened next? I left the items on her counter and walked out. Fast forward to today, the same thing happened in another shop but luckily for her, I didn’t leave the items, I went to the nearest mobile money vendor, withdrew the money and came back to pay. The whole point is, e-payment has become part of our daily retail lives and retailers need to accept it. In a span of a few months of covid-19 and its associated prevention measures, customers are now biased towards e-payments rather than handling cash. E-payment is trending and retailers need to catch up on the trend. In this article, we discuss the major e-payment system you can adopt in your African retail shop.

Mobile Money

It is an electronic payment system that allows people to receive, save and spend money by just using their mobile phone while subscribed to a network service provider. A subscriber to mobile money can do a lot with their mobile money wallet example buy airtime, send family money, pay for items online and physical shops and pay for all bills. Africans have come to accept mobile money as quicker payment for all their transactions and over 30 countries in Africa including Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Egypt, Togo, Uganda and Tunisia are beneficiaries of this wonderful payment system.

How to register for mobile money

All you need to register for mobile money is choose a network service provider of your choice, walk in to their office along with a national identification card and a small fee to finally get a mobile money number. For retailers, you will require your business registration certificate, national identification card and the fee. The process is very easy and likely to complete and have access to your mobile money wallet in a few hours.

Importance of mobile money

  • It is a faster way to transact because transactions are made instantly
  • It is easier to use because the procedure is short and does not require any middleman
  • It is convenient to use, no long queues at the bank ,it’s all in your hand
  • It gives you security, you don’t have to carry money around

Examples of Mobile Money Services in Africa

  • MTN Momo
  • VodafoneCash
  • Safaricom
  • Orange money
  • Cellpaid
  • AirtelTigo cash

If you are the retailer who doesn’t accept mobile money in your shop just like the two retailers in this article, the hard truth is you are losing customers who prefer cashless payments and also losing profits and that obviously is not good for business. Let’s make shopping fun and easier for our customers.  

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