The truth about mobile banking in Africa M-Pesa advert There has a lot written about mobile payments in Africa, particularly since the success of M-Pesa in Kenya Mobile banking is certainly a growth industry across many African countries: indeed, my esteemed colleague Rick Wray reports that UK-listed Monitise is hoping to extend the reach of services with a deal to run new systems across a number of African countries. For Kenyans it is clearly an amazingly successful technology, and has generated all sorts of interesting opportunities for people who often live isolated rural lives or do not have access to the traditional banking structure. However, despite the soaraway success of M-Pesa, mobile payments are still in their early days - and while Kenya has eagerly embraced the system, one swallow doesn't make a summer. As such, I thought I'd share a really great post I read from the CGap thinktank (it stands for the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, but I think we'll stick with the abbreviation) on why M-Pesa hasn't necessarily hit the heights outside of Kenya. The Web is full of stories singing the praises of Safaricom's M-PESA, a service that allows Kenyans to safely and cheaply send money to family and friends throughout the country using a mobile wallet. In neighboring Tanzania, M-PESA has been in the market for over a year. Yet it is not garnering the same level of media attention. Despite the close proximity of Tanzania and Kenya, the mobile banking landscape in each is quite different. Among the differences they note are the communities they cover (Tanzania is bigger and less densely populated than its neighbour), a change in marketing strategy and a different pricing scheme. While I'm not playing down the idea that mobile banking offers better living through technology, it's worth seeing that it is not simply the case that building the services will result in automatic success.