Should MTN, Airtel and M-Pesa fear the Wave effect?

By Quentin Velluet
Posted on Thursday, 21 April 2022 17:15, updated on Thursday, 28 April 2022 21:53

A customer uses the mobile money solution offered by the operator MNT, in Accra, Ghana, in April 2021. © Nipah Dennis/Bloomberg via Getty

MTN, Airtel and M-Pesa have decided to separate their mobile money business in order to attract outside investors. However, according to some experts, Wave's low-cost model could undermine its valuation targets.

So far, so good. Mobile money and digital financial services are set to become the new golden goose of operators across a continent that has 184 million active wallets and whose total transaction volume in 2021 exceeded $700bn (+39% compared to 2020), according to the latest figures published by the GSMA on the sector. But what if Wave expands its low-cost model beyond West Africa? And what if similar services are launched at the same time?