|Jack Dorsey: The next decade belongs to Africa as technology ripples through the continent. I agree with him. I was visiting Nigeria and you could see the overwhelming popularity of mobile devices, data plans, AND the growing desire for mobile payments. |
Although it was there, you could feel, at least in Nigeria, that there is a controlled effort by the telecoms(?) to resist the push by 3rd party mobile payment operators, instead preferring people to use cash via their telecom branded ATMs. It was very strange. People had to carry suitcases full of nairah (their local currency). But inevitably, apps like Square seem very well positioned to make huge waves in countries like Nigeria because their is a huge yearning for mobile payment methods there.
WorldRemit, a very popular mobile payment app, ironically built by a Nigerian, is used extensively in east African countries like Kenya, but it seems their west countries are still using cash despite a 95% mobile-use penetration rate. Everyone i saw had an iPhone, or some android device. So the consumers are ready, the infrastructure is mature. It just takes the will of a company like Square to cease it because the potential in this market, for this continent, is worth hundreds of $billions.