By Irene Gaitirira
Published August 27, 2015
Lagos, the commercial capital of Africa’s most populous country and largest money remittance nation, is on November 4-5, 2015 set to host a mobile money transfer conference for participants from 25 countries.
Remittance providers and stakeholders such as money transfer operators, financial services providers, financial technology providers, vendors, agent network operators, mobile financial services providers, regulators and stakeholders from the supply and demand side of the remittance industry are expected to congregate at the two-day event dubbed Remittance Africa Conference that is presented by MobileMoneyAfrica, an online platform for mobile financial services news in the mobile payment, e-commerce, financial inclusion, and e-banking community in Africa.
“The formal market for international and cross border money transfer to Africa is still young and faces typical emerging markets challenges when compared to more established markets,” MobileMoneyAfrica says. “A competitive market space is required to foster technology innovation, access and drive the expansion necessary to reduce cost and reach under-served areas.”
According to the World Bank, the growth of remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to slow to US$33 billion in 2015. Globally, it is expected to reach US$586 billion in 2015 before accelerating to reach an estimated US$636 billion in 2017.
Though Africa has made great strides in mobile technology adoption and penetration, technological innovation has yet to drive down costs in remittance markets. The barriers to cost-reduction, challenges and opportunities in the African remittance market, improving efficiency at the last mile, the role of non- bank financial institutions and the emergence of digital remittances such as mobile money, online transfers and crypto-currencies in lowering remittance cost for Africans are some of the subjects to be considered at the conference.