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Almost 83 Percent of Ivorians Use Mobile Money

In 2014, the Ivorian government began allowing high school students to pay for their tuition electronically. Today, around 94% of the country’s 1.5 million high school students pay their tuition via mobile money, according to the ministry of education. The project was in part meant to check corruption, but it quickly turned out to be a stimulus for mobile money services, which a whopping 83% of the country now uses. Orange (40.1%), MTN (34.9%) and Moov (25%) derive their profits mainly from transaction fees, with a fraction going to the state as taxes. Traditional banking services are losing their appeal amid this mass adoption of mobile money in the west African country.  Efforts by the government since 2012 to promote financial inclusion and ATM usage by waiving basic bank account fees have yielded paltry results. As banks struggle to keep their existing customers, and persuade new customers to sign up, official figures suggest that only 19% of the country’s 25 million people own a bank account, most of them civil servants, up from just 10% in 2011.