Considerable effort and funding has gone to digitizing payments across Africa and Asia in markets where mobile money services are rapidly growing. One sector receiving considerable attention is agriculture. The GSMA has a unit dedicated to agriculture (mAgri), which includes a focus on payments. The World Bank's CGAP allocates resources to grants and technical assistance on the topic. And the Better Than Cash Alliance works with governments to implement digital payments at the national level. Convincing agri-enterprises that sell inputs to, or buy crops from, rural communities to embrace digital payments is seen as a potential path to de-throning cash--the undisputed king of commerce in emerging markets.
The Tigo Ghana head office sits on a shady, surprisingly quiet road in central Accra, nestled next to government buildings and museums. An office on the top floor of the three-story building is home to the mobile network operator’s Mobile Financial Services (MFS) division, known as TigoCash.
As cash transfers become an increasingly respected and relied-upon method of delivering relief to communities affected by conflict and environmental disasters, NGOs working in the humanitarian space will more frequently be required to manage networks of merchants and agents in their roles as disbursers of international funding.
SIA has published a report on the design and execution of a market research study in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire that determined the demand for digital financial services in the cocoa value chain with an emphasis on farmer financial inclusion and the potential of mobile money to enhance farmers’ livelihoods.