Coronavirus Seen as Trigger for Mobile Money Growth in West Africa

Penda Kande usually pays for taxis in cash, but since coronavirus hit Senegal, the 30-year-old nurse has switched to mobile money to avoid contamination.

She was one of several clients making withdrawals or deposits with mobile money agents on a street corner in Senegal’s capital Dakar last week, where one Orange Money agent said business had nearly doubled since coronavirus hit. Mobile money providers across Africa have reduced or waived transaction fees and governments are encouraging digital payments to reduce person-to-person contact and potentially slow the spread of the virus.