Société Générale injects one million dollars in mobile banking service TagPay

Société Générale established its first physical bank in Africa 80 years ago. Today, the ambitious French bank is present in 18 African countries and represents 3.3 million clients on the continent. In order to gain more visibility, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Société Générale announced on July 7th 2016 that they would be investing one million dollars in mobile banking service company TagPay.

93% of Africans have access to mobile devices (Source: Afrobaromètre) making the decision to purchase 8% of the company’s share a logical next step for Société Générale. Africa’s banking system is a complex one for both bankers and clients.Thanks to TagPay, however, new solutions are underway to avoid the pitfalls.


Oliver Heisenberg (Trust Merchant Bank) explains the current African banking system quite well by detailing how difficult it is to reach cities that have less that 100,000 inhabitants. This is in part because of the lack of basic infrastructure and urban planning. The cost and risk of holding large sums of money is also another problem faced by banks according to the CEO.


Banks are not the only ones that are victims of this logistics crisis. Indeed, it is not rare that clients spend a day or two to simply get to their bank. Adding to that is the fear that their money will disappear because of corruption, leading clients to withdraw all the money they have in their account.


The alliance formed by Société Générale and TagPay aims at facilitating the bank’s expansion while at the same time being closer to their clients. On the move, Alexandre Maymat (Société Générale) said that adopting a mobile banking system was a necessary step to further their business in the continent as infrastructure costs are rising and the local population is getting more tech-savvy.


TagPay, created back in 2005, allows anyone, regardless where they live, to check balance statements, transfer money and pay bills simply with their phone. The three main advantages of this mobile banking service are that it uses cloud computing technology but most of  all that it can be used on all phone devices regardless of the phone operator. This is an important detail as the median smartphone use in Africa is 15% of the population whereas the median for other mobile device use on the continent represents 65% of the population (Source: Pew Research Center).


Thanks to the technology offered by TapPay, Société Générale will hopefully reach a wider client base compared to the past.