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Mobile Money Services Used as a Tool to Contain the Spread of Global Pandemic

Given the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Africa with over 1,800 confirmed cases, the proliferation and adoption of mobile money services serves as an unintended boon for containing the pandemic, particularly in the cash-reliant, informal sectors which dominate most African economies. With social distancing policies seen as a vital to curbing the outbreak’s spread, the use of mobile money services can reduce the need to exchange cash notes and close personal contact—an obvious way through which the virus can be transmitted especially in Africa’s densely populated urban centers. While East Africa, home to Safaricom’s famed M-Pesa service, still remains the top grossing region for volume and value of mobile money transactions across Sub Saharan Africa, mobile money growth is starting to boom in West Africa thanks to growth in Ghana and francophone West Africa.