Inside Uganda’s emerging fintech ecosystem. The country is already home to the second-largest mobile money provider in Africa, Africa’s No. 1 payment app store, and the top-ranked global mobile wallet and payment platform with the US Department of Commerce.
In Uganda, mobile money and mobile wallet (M-Wallet) companies are starting to grow explosively. Uganda’s mobile wallet ecosystem is currently comprised of four companies – Paytm, MoneyKhan, Airtel Money, and Ubiq. Each one offering a unique set of services and features. These include mobile money transfer, mobile money management and payment banking.
Airtel is the No. 1 mobile money app store in Africa, with 400,000 users, followed by Ubiq with 380,000, and MoneyKhan with 400,000. Paytm and MoneyKhan both recently expanded their products in Uganda, adding a variety of money transfer options, including cash transfer, cheque, Diners, and EMI transfer.
Paytm currently serves more than 17,000 users in Uganda, and Ubiq has over 1,000,000 users in the country. In comparison to Nigeria, only about 2,500,000 people in Africa own a mobile device, which makes Africa the second-largest mobile technology market in the world behind the US, with a total population of more than 1.3 billion.
The rapid growth of Fintech in Africa is primarily because of the continent’s large unbanked population. Nearly half of the population of 23.5 million people in Africa are unbanked, which includes people who are poor, those with low incomes, and those who are in low-level formal employment. There are currently over 3.1 billion adults in Africa who have yet to complete secondary school, and about 40 percent of Africa’s adult population is illiterate.
“We believe that by targeting these people, we can accelerate the growth of fintech and digital assets. More importantly, we can make a significant dent in Africa’s lack of access to financial services,” says Chris Okey, founder and CEO of Airtel Money.
Airtel continues to make large investments to build its own stable of apps, including a mobile wallet app and a mobile money transfer app.