We believe that 2014 will be the year for emerging markets and that Africa’s growth prospects, in particular, are bright indeed, especially in the Mobile Financial Services (MFS) sector.
Africa has been cited as a model of success when it comes to MFS. While “first generation” mobile money services are still strong and growing, we will witness a new wave of MFS in many African countries. As African markets become increasingly diverse with an expanding middle class, customer needs are evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Providers of MFS solutions will need to offer sophisticated services for both consumers and merchants such as dedicated money and budget management as well as target governments with solutions that offer anti-corruptions and fraud prevention capabilities.
M2M is on the rise and transforming industries. This is particularly true for agriculture, Africa’s largest economic sector. The continent has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, most of it unfarmed. Crop yields are between 1/3 and 1/2 of the global average, and in this sector telecom can be a true catalyst for growth. Combining the right knowhow with smart M2M solutions will enable farmers to double productivity, increase yield and substantially reduce costs.
Nir Flatau is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at MER Group, Telecom Division.