Mobility boosts MEA banking
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| July 12, 2012, 4:08 p.m.
While financial institutions seek to develop alternative channels as a means to drive business efficiency and a better customer experience, an increase in consumer mobility has presented an attractive opportunity to financial institutions. According to a recent study by market research and consulting company IDC, the current penetration rate of banking services in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is estimated at less than 35%.
SMS usage is growing faster than Web-based and downloadable applications. While the overall trend may be minimal, it continues to drive home the fact that SMS messages are far more appealing, since they can be used by consumers without purchasing an expensive data plan. This is particularly true in the MEA region, where penetration of lower-end mobile phones is high.
"Increased device capacity and faster Internet speeds have boosted the adoption of mobility among consumers, adding to the recent success of mobile banking initiatives. Most financial institutions across MEA have adopted some form of mobile technology, which will be pivotal in capturing a large share of the unbanked market and adding to the banking experience for existing customers," says Bijen Ramdas, a senior research analyst at IDC Financial Insights Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. "Regulation in the MEA mobile banking market is yet to reach an advanced state of maturity, which should be viewed as an opportunity to create sound security policies and develop trust in mobile banking technology."
Financial institutions looking to differentiate their mobile solutions may view item capture as a way to expedite everything from making deposits to completing loan applications. According to IDC, financial institutions should continue to embrace all mobile phone features to facilitate transactions and provide superior customer service.
Security authentication standards are stringent on mobile devices, with features such as two-factor authentication being the norm. A lack of consumer knowledge has been commonly cited as the reason for security breaches via mobile channels, rather than the actual hacking of mobile devices. In response to this, a strong trend has been an increase in focus on boosting consumer awareness and education levels, with many banks emphasizing security in their marketing strategies.
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
eTranzact invests $350k in Nigerian mobile money activation projecteTranzact has made an investment of US$350,000 into a mobile money activation project in northern and southwestern Nigeria in collaboration with financial sector development organisation EFInA. Read More
Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots upEquity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit. Read More
Airtel Uganda money transfer voted best digital financial serviceAirtel Uganda was voted the Best Digital Financial Service of the year at the Digital Impact Awards Africa held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. Read More
DRC civil servants hail mobile banking, ICTsCivil servants in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have described mobile banking as the ‘biggest miracle’ of the 21st century. Read More
Streamed services to push digital music sales to $14bn by 2019A new report from Juniper Research found that the digital music industry will experience slow growth in revenue over the next 5 years, from $12.3bn this year to $13.9bn in 2019. Read More
Airtel, Tigo launch cross-network money transfer service in TanzaniaBharti Airtel has announced the introduction of a service that will allow customers send and receive between Airtel’s mobile money service and that of Tigo in Tanzania. Read More
Airtel, VeriFone Mobile Money speed up merchant enablementBharti Airtel and VeriFone Mobile Money have reached an agreement to offer VeriFone Mobile Money’s merchant enablement applications for mobile Tap n Pay across Airtel’s 17 operating countries in Africa. Read More
Safaricom cuts fees on low and medium value M-PESA transfersSafaricom has announced a targeted reduction of transaction fees levied by the operator on its most popular person to person M-PESA transaction bands. Read More
Stakeholders meet over Ghana mobile moneyStakeholders from Ghana’s financial and telecoms industry have held talks at an MTN Stakeholders Forum in Accra to discuss the way forward in the quest to make Ghana a cashless society. Read More
Village saving associations get mobile money productAirtel Uganda, Grameen Foundation and Plan Uganda have introduced a new Group Savings product for Village Savings and Loan Associations. Read More
FEATURED STORYSafaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up
Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.