Evidence has indicated that the potential within the mobile money sector is growing at a fast pace in Africa.
In Tanzania, Mwasapi Kihongosi and Godluck Akyoo are the founders of TIME tickets, which is a mobile app that allows event-goers in Tanzania to purchase tickets using their mobile phones using mobile money. How does it work?
After purchasing a ticket via TIME Tickets, the ticket in QR Code will be stored in the user’s phone. During check-in to an event or movie theatre, the ticket will be scanned for validation.
The founders were driven by the goal to make ticketing easy.
“We started mid-2013 to fill a gap in the market. If you want to buy a ticket to an event in Dar es Salaam you must go to a physical outlet. We wanted to enable people to buy the ticket via mobile money and save the time and money spent commuting to buy tickets.”
Currently available for the Android platform, the founders aim to use other mobile operating systems such as Windows and iOS.
The startup faces challenges like any other business, including potential risks.
Kihongosi says, “A very small percentage of Tanzanians have smartphones. Just over nine million people have internet access. Now this can be a risk or an opportunity, depending on whether you take a short-term or long-term view.”
“Our target clients include event organisers, movie theatres and travel agents. We make money through commissions,” says Akyoo.
This venture is an example of how young entrepreneurs in Africa are capitalising on the mobile money boom on the continent. With the expansion of the mobile phone market, there is even more opportunity.
“Cash is increasingly becoming an obsolete technology as the developing world sprints ahead of the developed in its adoption of Mobile Money,” says Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO of Worldremit, a leading international remittance company.
Sub-Saharan countries in Africa record the highest level of mobile money penetration, of all regions in the world.