30 Sep African eCommerce Payment: Mobile Money Wallets - Online Payments - Remittances

African online payments mostly operates on a slightly different basis to the vanilla payment gateway model in the rest of the world.  This article is for multinational eCommerce companies who are expanding to and across the African continent and needing to understand how it works.

Mobile money is the dominant way to pay in most African continents.  Most countries have a system of “wallets” with mobile network operators.  There is pretty much no difference between a consumer wallet and a business wallet in form and function.  It is merely a node to node online payment system.

The payor and payee both have a wallet and money moves from one to the other.  If it's a consumer payment then it moves from the consumer mobile money wallet to the business mobile money wallet.  And if it is a payout done by the merchant, then the money moves from the merchant wallet to the consumer wallet.

Unlike the simplicity of a payment gateway receiving cards, mobile money transactions are asynchronous and it requires the consumer at the checkout to enter the payment details into their phone, the transaction happens in the background and the MNO notifies the merchant of transaction success so the goods or services can be released.  

The good thing about this wallet-to-wallet way of working is that transactions are mostly irrevocable.  So if the consumer is paying with any of the most popular mobile money product like M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Tigo Cash, Vodafone Cash, MTN Mobile Money, the transaction cannot easily be charged back.  

The system of wallets has its advantages.  It can effectively be used for remittances, online payments, paying bills.  Refer to our previous article indicating how the node to node money system is collapsing into a ubiquitous integrated network payments system.  

If you are an eCommerce merchant looking to get paid online at the checkout by consumers in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa and most other eCommerce-popular countries, then we at African Payment Solutions as a payments aggregator make it simple for you. 

If you are looking for a payment provider and a simple and effective way to get paid online in most African countries then click here to contact us now.