The mobile money bandwagon continues to gather pace in Africa. Local press reports indicate that leading Angolan operator Unitel is about to launch a service called Unitel Money.
This is described as a form of digital money that will allow people to make deposits, withdrawals, transfers and payments from their mobile phone without having a bank account.
The National Bank of Angola (BNA) granted Unitel a license to provide this mobile payments service in 2020.
According to sources from Unitel quoted in the regional press, the service is being developed entirely by the company. It will be supported by Unitel Money stores and agents – who are seen as the backbone of the service – in a network of hundreds of mirrored branches throughout the country.
It seems that users of this financial platform will be able to receive sums of money on mobile phones pretty much anywhere in the country.
Somewhat surprisingly, it appears that Unitel may be the first operator in Angola to offer this sort of financial service. It will be interesting to see how end users respond in a country which boasts a sizeable population of over 31 million.
The appeal of such a service to end users with little access to bank accounts was underlined by Ethio Telecom’s recently launched Telebirr service, which has enjoyed rapid take-up.