How mobile technology is changing Africa

Do you remember your first mobile phone?

No matter your age, whether you are a tech-savvy millennial or sedate Babyboomer, the feeling of connection, freedom, and a whole new world of possibilities opening up – all from a little black box inside your pocket – is hard to forget.

The world’s first mobile phone call was made in 1973 when Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, phoned a rival telecommunications company on April 3, to tell them he was speaking via mobile.

And the world has never looked back.

When did the mobile phone first come to Africa? How has the growth and penetration been?

The first mobile phones were huge and bulky, used strictly to make communication faster and more convenient.

 Not just improving the way we connect, but also providing useful services.

Who would have thought from the heady days of 1973 that we would now be using our phones to check the weather, watch TV, or get a loan approved?

This opened a wealth of new opportunities for tech companies.

MODE’s Airtime Credit Service (ACS) provides credit to prepaid mobile phone users, allowing them to keep using their phone even when they’re run out of prepaid airtime. The money is repaid from their next mobile top up.

MODE’s Nano facilitates Banks and other Financial Institutions to provide small size and safe loans to the largely underbanked segment.

MODE determines the amount of credit each user qualifies for based on a range of criteria. Users can access airtime as many times as necessary – as long as previous airtime advances have been repaid.

This is just one of the ways Fintech developments in Africa are helping to change the lives of millions of mobile phone users.

If you’d like to find out more, come and see us at the New Age Banking Summit in Lagos from 26-27 September.

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