It is estimated that by 2013, half a billion people worldwide will be using mobile money payment services, including person to person transfers, airtime top up, international remittances and payroll.
B2B pilots underway
Says MM Global conference director Sonum Puri: “mobile money has traditionally been a game of high volume, low value transactions. However, MNOs (mobile network operators) especially, have identified that by introducing services such as payroll through mobile wallets to corporations, is one way to build up scalability rapidly, acquiring hundreds of customers at one time and also tackles the issue of stopping accounts from going dormant.”
Sonum continues: “MNOs and banks are also looking at providing invoicing services through mobile money to corporates. Government to person payments and person to government payments also hold a lot of promise in emerging markets and disaster stricken areas. A number of pilots are underway in Latin America and Asia, where MNOs and banks are helping governments to distribute benefit payments through their agent networks and mobile money platforms. In the Philippines, locals will be able to use Globe's GCASH platform to pay taxes to the government. In Fiji, Vodafone are supporting government payments to beneficiaries through M-Paisa. In Pakistan, the easypaisa service launched by Telenor and Tameer Microfinance Bank is now being used as a way to collect school fees.”
Gap in mature MM markets?
According to Sonum Puri common challenges in markets still seem to relate to the regulatory environment and gaining central bank approval to launch services. For services, that have already launched, the challenge is now to find ways to maintain customer loyalty and encourage active usage of the mobile money accounts.
She notes, however, that there is always room for more opportunities in what could be considered a mature market: “for example, we see in Kenya that Orange and Equity Bank have partnered together, leveraging the different strengths of an MNO and bank to bring a unique business model and value proposition for customers in a market where M-Pesa, Yu Cash and Zap have already launched.”
Middle East opportunities
In the Middle East, banks have been showing a greater interest in mobile money opportunities says Mobile Money Global’s Sonum Puri. She explains: “mobile money services have been driven by MNOs and services have mainly been focusing on domestic and international mobile remittances and MNOs are also beginning to explore the potential of NFC (near field communication) and incorporating the mobile device with other channels to enhance payment options for a diverse range of customers. Service providers are also going beyond mobile payments to see how the existing platform can be used to offer additional services such as mobile health.”
Speaker highlights at MM Global include:
• Michael Joseph, former CEO, Safaricom & Strategic Advisor, Vodafone Money Transfer
• Michael Wakileh, CEO, ProgressSoft
• Osman Sultan, CEO, du
• Matthew Kirk, Group Director of External Affairs, Vodafone
• Neil Ahlsten, Head of New Business Development, Google
• Snehar Shah, Head of Mobile Money, Orange
• Rashed Al Alabbar, Director Mobile Commerce, Etisalat
• Abdoul Ahad Fall, Head of E-Banking, United Bank for Africa
Pre-conference Mobile Money Academy Workshop: 31 October 2011
Post-conference Mobile Money Academy Workshop: 3 November 2011
Conference: 1-2 November 2011
MM Global forms part of the Connected World Forum, which also includes the events, Mobile Life and Mobile Health.