Africa world leaders in mobile commerce

World Travel Market report says mobile payments for travel are becoming more popular.

Africais leading the world in mobile commerce with the travel industry playing a key role in its popularity, according to the WTM Global Trends Report released at the World Travel Market.

The report states that there are 489 million mobile phone users on the continent, with 60 percent of those using their phones to purchase goods or services.

African telecoms companies are working with Africa’s major airlines such as Kenya Airways to target the 230 million “unbanked” population. The success of Kenya’s M-PESA mobile banking system has proved an increasingly popular method of payment. For Africans without bank accounts it is an ideal way to pay for goods including travel services.

Several airlines, including Uganda Airlines and Kenya Airways, have partnered with M-PESA to allow mobile payments for flight tickets and the system is also being rolled out to cover accommodation. Sarova Hotels, one of the leading chains of hotels and lodges in Kenya and East Africa, also allows payment via M-PESA for subscribers.

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