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Mobile money key catalyst to e-Commerce – Vodafone CEO

Haris Broumidis, Chief Executive of Vodafone Ghana

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Haris Broumidis has projected that the 26% internet penetration for Africa and 103 million Africans active on social media as of January 2015, is a positive indicator for mobile money’s role in eCommerce.

Speaking at the Second Ghana e-Commerce Expo and Conference designed to help grow online trade, Mr Broumidis mentioned how Africa’s first mobile money platform, Mpesa is making it possible for customers to conveniently pay bills, buy phone credits, and conduct other activities.

He was of the view that mobile money has undoubtedly transformed the way businesses think and operate.

“On the average, buying trends are fast moving from the physical to online with about 13% of consumers willing to buy online due to convenience. At Vodafone, we want to assure our customers that our platform is tried and tested and proven to be the most effective world over. Our strategy remains unchanged – we will continue to create platforms to empower our customers and liberate them”, he said.

Addressing “the Rise of Mobile Money and the Future of Cash,” Mr Broumidis stressed that mobile money will not cause the death of cash in any way; but rather, complement the platform. He said despite the rise of credit cards and mobile money platforms, cash is still instrumental.

“Physical cash is still primarily the key medium by which transactions are conducted. People still find cash easy to carry, widely accepted and reliable. Cash is still stored by people for emergencies. Till date, cash is still seen as difficult to trace and a sure bet for confirming that a transaction has been properly finalised,” Mr Broumidis emphasized.

The two-day event held at the Accra International Conference Centre on the theme: “Unleashing Ghana’s Online Potential,” is the largest gathering of companies and professionals from electronic commerce websites, Internet Service Providers, Telecommunications, Software Designers, solution providers in the mobile commerce, Banks and e-banking among others.

Mr Felix Kwakye Ofosu, the Deputy Minister of Communications speaking at the opening of the conference, said government is still investing in technologies to bridge the digital gap to improve the lives of citizens.

Some of the notable speakers at the conference were Mr Paul Asinor (Event and New Media Director, OML Africa), Mr Frank Oye (Executive Director, Margins ID), Prince Kofi Kludjeson (Executive Chairman, Alltel); Harsh Sarda (MD, Nielsen, Africa Vertical Markets), Albert Biga (CEO, Zoobashop), Derek Appiah (Country Manager, Microsoft), Sandra Abrokwa Kyerematen (Country Manager, Tonaton) and others.

Credit: Vodafone Ghana