It’s here again, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the most influential event in global mobile communication. This year, the main topic is velocity, 5G…and even 6G! But the congress will also address increasingly relevant topics in the field of mobile communication, such as the expansion of digital technologies and their influence on the creation of value in other industries, financial services among many others. Over the past 17 years, since its inception in 2006, the MWC has widened its scope to embrace the dynamic evolution of technology. Today, it showcases a broad variety of innovative technologies and brings together all kinds of industries and businesses, thus testifying to the fact that technology is indeed everyone’s business.
Ensuring digital payment security through technology
In our blog, we have had numerous opportunities to highlight the fact that technology is transforming sectors such as banking services. Not only is technology revolutionizing the way we make payments, but it is also “providing a new way to transact within a global digital economy”. For instance, it equips the sector with powerful weapons against financial fraud, thus making it a safer ecosystem than cash to operate in. It does so in a variety of ways, including the tracking and monitoring of digital financial transactions, the promotion of digital ID, and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
For example, data-driven RegTech solutions like the ones developed by GVG provide governments, regulatory authorities, and central banks with the financial intelligence they need to obtain a full, accurate picture of their country’s digital payment ecosystem, which may comprise Mobile Money, digital banking services and remittances. This enables them to identify suspicious transactions and act accordingly.
Technology also effectively supports the implementation of digital ID, which in turn promotes the security of digital financial transactions, as it makes it easier and more secure to identify individuals in the payment ecosystem. From the point of view of governments, digital ID can help curb pension fraud, as well as payments made to ghost employees. Finally, it is also worth mentioning AI as a valuable safeguard against digital financial crime. According to Entrepreneur, the benefits of AI include keeping one step ahead of identity thieves, as well as the early detection of credit card fraud and money laundering.
Technology at the service of financial inclusion
Similarly, technology can serve financial inclusion. According to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), Sub-Saharan Africa has made significant progress when it comes to financial inclusion. However, there is still scope for improvement in the following four areas: the people’s financial health, the financial inclusion gender gap, the development of effective identity systems and leveraging alternative digital data.
Technology can make a valuable contribution in these areas, particularly so in the last two. Indeed, it enables financial sector actors to harness the increasing volumes of data created by the digital economy to make data-driven decisions with a view to helping develop effective mechanisms that can deliver greater financial inclusion, especially for low-income people. Furthermore, it promotes the implementation of digital ID projects in the region.
A cross-sector view of technology’s potential
But technology is already spreading to all, or almost all, sectors, helping different industries in their revolution 4.0. Let us take the example of the health sector. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Communications, used GVG’s Mobility Intel technologies to monitor the spread of the virus in the country, improve decision-making and evaluate the impact of health measures. Prior to the implementation of our technology, the Ghanaian government lacked the necessary data to effectively manage, and respond to, the crisis.
However, following it, it was able to collect anonymized mobile data from the local MNOs, which it analyzed to get insight into mobility trends, monitor the citizens’ compliance with the health and safety measures in place and enable effective response as well as resource planning. As a result of the government’s foresight, Ghana registered only 0.5% of all Covid-related deaths reported throughout the continent. This is a convincing result for a country that represents 2.3% of the total population of Africa.
The benefits of technology also apply to the agriculture and education sectors. In Africa, Agritech and Edtech are increasingly being used to refer to the impact and use of technology in these same sectors. African Edtech companies have not been able to leverage the Covid-19 pandemic as effectively as companies in the rest of the world, says TechCabal. However, due to the education gap on the continent, the market has a huge potential. Indeed, it is expected to reach $404 billion by 2025, up from $295 billion in 2022.
As regards the agricultural sector, African agri-tech companies raised $115 million in the first half of last year alone, according to TechCabal’s funding tracker. This is a positive achievement in the context of a food crisis that has recently been exacerbated by the ever-increasing cost of food, extreme weather conditions, conflicts in Africa, and the war in Ukraine. These figures help us to size up the booming markets and show how data technology has become increasingly relevant even in the most traditional sectors, which are at the same time key sectors for Africa’s development.
Events such as the MWC become places that encourage conversation between the public and private sectors and where great ideas and projects that will revolutionize the technological world are born. They give governments, authorities, and companies that play a fundamental role in the development of global communication an opportunity to meet, discuss all these issues, and see how technology can continue to advance in a sustainable way to help the socio-economic growth of all regions. Organizations such as Smart Africa never miss the MWC and take advantage of the gathering to sit down with their members and set goals for the future. For us at GVG, the congress represents a chance to connect with like-minded individuals and companies, and to stay abreast of relevant technological innovation in our field.
Want to read more about the benefits of technology for inclusion? Click here.