Sub-Sahara ‘ready for next m-commerce step’


Image: By Ericsson
Sub-Sahara ‘ready for next m-commerce step’

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.

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Tigo upgrades Self-Care app

With its commitment to forefront technology and develop solutions to serve customers better, Tigo Ghana has upgraded its channels to provide customers with easy access to all of their communication needs on-the-go. Read More

Firm develops Tsaboin Traffic Talk to address city gridlock

Management of Nigeria’s biggest traffic monitoring site, Tsaboin Traffic Talk, has restated its commitment towards easing the challenge of traffic gridlock experienced by road users in Lagos State. Read More

Safaricom aims for 30% more Lipa Na M-PESA transactions

Safaricom has announced that it plans to increase usage of Lipa Na M-PESA by 30% throughout the financial year, as it steps up its plans to grow cashless transaction space. Read More

MTN launches e-Health service in Cameroon

A new MTN mobile health platform authorised by Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health and exploited in partnership with the Cameroon National Medical Council is expected to improve access to health services in Cameroon. Read More

KCB signs deal with GoSwiff to embed its Cashlite agenda

KCB in conjunction with GoSwiff - a global mobile commerce and marketing solutions provider- have unveiled a strategic deal to offer a new mobile payment facility targeting Kenyan merchants. Read More

Orange Money launches mobile crowdfunding

Orange is launching Africa's first mobile crowdfunding platform in Côte d'Ivoire: Orange Collecte. Read More

MTN zero-rates FrontRow data usage

MTN subscribers are in for an entertainment treat following the announcement by MTN that it has zero rated the data usage for streaming content on FrontRow. Read More

Orange postpaid customers to pay bills online

Orange Telkom Kenya post paid subscribers are now able to pay their monthly bills online. Read More

TransUnion launches Nipashe credit checking solution for Kenya

TransUnion has launched an innovative new SMS short code solution that enables consumers in Kenya to easily access their credit information.  Read More

Orange Money Botswana tops 300,000 subscribers

Orange Money Botswana has announced that its customer numbers have reached the 300, 000 mark. Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika


Innovative designer takes e-waste to another levelInnovative designer takes e-waste to another level

Gladys Muyenzelwa is a Gaborone based artist and designer who has an eye for ethnic and contemporary design. But unlike other designers, Muyenzelwa has found a way of using e-waste to make her creations. 


High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech homes: Just press play

High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.


Luba Freeport streamlines its sea of paper with Sage X3

Luba Freeport has implemented the Finance and Distribution modules of the Sage X3 business management solution to automate its business processes across finance and operations.