Sub-Sahara ‘ready for next m-commerce step’
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| Aug. 29, 2012, 2:37 p.m.
In a new report from its ConsumerLab, Ericsson maps out the potential of transformation within m-commerce across the region of sub-Saharan Africa.
Based on in-depth, extensive interviews with mobile phone users in Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania, the report has four key findings: that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their personal budgets; the speed and convenience of m-commerce points to great potential in the market; current behaviors and social structures indicate that the use of mobile payment services will expand; and that consumers need more information about the functionality and security of m-commerce transactions.
Consumers tell Ericsson researchers that they use mobile payment services for person-to-person transfers and purchasing airtime on their mobile subscriptions, and that they like the convenience of accessing money everywhere and at anytime, regardless of service hours. In Tanzania, for example, 38% of subscribers send money person-to-person over the mobile phone.
Another conclusion of the report is that people who use m-commerce keep little separation between private and business accounts. "Many consumers are entirely self-employed and are prompted to make transfers from private accounts for business purposes, so they gain experience with m-commerce," says Anders Erlandsson, Senior Advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab.
Experience leads to greater trust, and the report finds that 44% of non-users of m-commerce are very worried about the integrity of their account information in case of theft or loss of their phones. "Face-to-face introductions, when an agent meets consumer, are crucial," says Erlandsson. "Just as personal access to a bank leads to higher acceptance of more abstract bank services, trust in mobile services also grows with personal experiences, rather than merely through advertising."
The report gives some insight into how household finances are traditionally handled and guidance for telecom operators in launching services that consumers will like and use. Where men and women share a household, men are generally expected to be breadwinners and women responsible for household finances.
A 45-year old man in Tanzania says: "If we are out of money and we have to buy something, my wife will usually solve it somehow. I don't know how she does it, women always have their ways."
Users put a high value on easy access to their money, Erlandsson continues: "Network reliability is another important factor, where concerns have to be addressed. For example, if you lose connectivity, you cannot access your money.
"Operators are reliable and technologically adept, providing a service that is personal and available to everybody. There is a window of opportunity in mobile money services for operators who already have an established relationship with consumers, because they have wide presence also in rural areas," he concluded.
Ericsson ConsumerLab gains its knowledge through a global consumer research program based on interviews with 100,000 individuals each year, in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities - statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used, and hundreds of hours are spent with consumers from different cultures.
Ericsson m-commerce has a global focus on accelerating access and interconnection between the m-commerce ecosystem and the existing financial world.
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
Internet.org app now available in GhanaFollowing the launch of the Internet.org app in Zambia and Kenya, Facebook is expanding its partnership with Airtel to bring the services to Ghana. Read More
TNM mobile money usage grows by 20%Telekom Networks Malawi Limited (TNM) has announced that the number of customers using its mobile money service, called Mpamba meaning ‘capital’, has increased by 20 percent. Read More
Azimo launches instant money transfer to eight new countries in West AfricaAzimo, the online money transfer service, has announced that customers across Europe can now send money to recipients in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo in West African CFA francs for instant cash pick-up. Read More
Airtel partners Cignifi and WSBI on mobile savings productsBrussels-based WSBI (World Savings and Retail Banking Institute) and Cignifi today announced an agreement to develop and test-market an innovative mobile savings product targeted at underserved and dormant savers. Read More
WorldRemit, MTN in Mobile Money partnershipWorldRemit and MTN have signed a global partnership that will enable WorldRemit customers to send remittances instantly to MTN’s Mobile Money customers. Read More
Draw your own video gameCartoon Network Games has partnered with Pixel Press on an innovative title encourages players to draw their own Adventure Time game levels. Read More
Tigo subscribers to enjoy 36m music tracks on their smartphonesTigo Tanzania today announced the launch of Tigo Music through a partnership with Deezer, the international music streaming service that will provide Tanzanians with unlimited music experience. Read More
Tigo Rwanda launches 4G, TV streamingTigo Rwanda has officially launched its 4G internet service and iROKOtv video streaming partnership. Read More
MTN unveils 2015 BetterMe app to maximize internet usageMTN Nigeria has launched its BetterMe campaign with the unveiling of the My2015BetterMe app and three 2015 BetterMe Bundle offerings for customers across all strata. Read More
Orange Mali, NSIA launch ‘Sini Tonon’The insurance and savings sector in Mali has been revolutionised with the launch recently of a mobile money product called ‘Sini Tonon’, an initiative of insurance giant NSIA (Nouvelle Société Interafricaine d’Assurances), in partnership with Orange Mali. Read More
FEATURED STORYUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards
Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.
COMPANY NEWSMTN to empower African businesses with AWS Direct Connect
MTN Group today announced it would be the first African company to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to business customers across multiple countries on the ...“All Systems GO!” for the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in Zambia
It’s “All Systems GO!” for the winners of the fourth edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards to be announced at the awards ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia ...Spectra Wireless, Microsoft 4Afrika launch first commercial TV white spaces services in Africa
University students will now get fast, affordable Internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when purchasing a new device.